Add your voice and call on our Government to support young people in Budget 2022 – by investing €10 million in young people and youth work.
WHY IS THIS NEEDED?
Young people have been hard hit by the pandemic. In the last year, we have seen:
- A chronic rise in youth unemployment – 28% of young people are affected
- Serious impact on young people’s mental health
- Difficulty for young people in getting support from friends and networks
- A huge number of young people missing out on key life landmarks and experiences
- An interruption to education that has caused massive difficulties for many young people
Ireland’s young population is growing all the time – we will have over 1 million people aged under 24 by the year 2025, a full fifth of our population. Young people are such an important part of our society, and they need and deserve real, meaningful support.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
Youth work services can support young people at this challenging time. Youth workers have been a lifeline to many young people during the lockdown, especially the most vulnerable, using SMS and video to keep in contact. The wide range of activities provided by youth organisations support young people in their personal and social development, positive mental health, physical well being, job skills, active citizenship and much more.
The need for youth services is growing dramatically as young people seek to recover from the effects of the pandemic. And youth work has never been adequately funded:
- While funding from the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth has increased in recent years, it is still 9% less than provided in 2008 when there were fewer young people to support and costs were lower.
- Arising from the pandemic, youth organisations have taken a big financial hit because fundraising campaigns by local groups and clubs and at national level had to be cancelled.
- The number of clubs and groups operating in the last year has halved and the numbers of volunteers able to contribute is a third of pre-covid levels. This means that thousands of young people don’t have access to youth services as organisations don’t have the volunteers or resources to run activities and services.
This has to change. We’re calling on the Government to invest an additional €10m in youth work services in Budget 2022, to provide more supports and activities for young people and meet the needs of a growing youth population hit hard by the pandemic.