The Choose Youth parliamentary roundtable yesterday saw around 100 people come together in a warm room (intended to fit around 65) in a hugely positive show for youth work across the board. Several Labour MPs and representatives from Lib Dem Friends of Youth Services heard representation in the 2 hour session at Westminster Palace on the extreme need and concerted will for a statutory youth service in England. Ahead of the meeting, IYW Chair Adam Muirhead met with Lib Dem Friends of Youth Services and LD Peer Lord Storey to discuss what support they can lend.
Young people, youth workers, educators, commentators and national organisations all shared the space to discuss everything from how we must ‘start from where young people are at’ through to how we would implement national infrastructure for a country-wide youth service in a powerful show of unity for youth sector partners and players.
The Institute for Youth Work were strongly represented by our Chair, Adam Muirhead as well as other Council members Tracey Spear and Esther Horner-Aird. In the short space afforded each speaker, Adam took the opportunity to promote high quality youth workers, the power of association (for young people and youth workers alike) and the hugely welcomed sense of a unifying sector, of which IYW is a part.
As well at the need for us all to get behind the 10-minute-bill on the Youth Work Act being presented on the 6th June, Doug Nichols, Chair of Choose Youth, implored everyone to sign up as a supporter to the campaign that has fought hard for a better legal platform for youth work since it launched its manifesto in early 2013.
As Doug continued to say, other opportunities exist for us to build on our head of steam, including inputting to the conversations on Labour’s proposed National Education Service and upcoming discussions on youth services being held by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Youth Affairs through June and July.
Find out more on Choose Youth at their website here: https://www.chooseyouth.org/