"Since I was vice-chairman of the Devizes Youth Centre based at Devizes School some 20 years ago, we have seen a systematic reduction in the provision for ouy young people. Faith based groups are the largest single supplier of youth activities in the country. The Lions, Scout & Guide groups, Forces Cadet Groups and other voluntary organisations provide many valuable activities. Wilthsire Council has slashed its youth budget and sacked its staff. We need to reverse this trend". said Noël Woolrych.
Wiltshire Council used to employ 150 youth workers and run 24 youth centres - this staff number has been vastly reduced by cuts since 2014 and all of the youth centres closed. The Conservatives have left local young people without a much-needed source of support. It’s time to put that right.
Follows are some extracts from the Gazette & Herald.
G&H 28 March 2014 Young people in Devizes expressed disgust at the planned savings. Rosie Mullins, 17, said: “The young people are really not impressed with any of the options (for the future of the youth service). “They are all stupid to be honest with you. We don’t quite understand what it means. “We have got counselling and staff who care for us and positive activities that the youth centre provides for us. It feels as though you are going to take it all away. It’s not fair or cool.” Coun Mayes said: “The youth service will not be cut completely. It will be different".
28th March 2014
Devizes young people worried about future youth services’
Young people who use the youth centre in Devizes told Wiltshire councillors to leave the youth service alone.
They spoke at a meeting of Devizes Area Board on Monday night where Wiltshire Council Cabinet member for children’s services, Laura Mayes, said changes would have to be made to the youth service.
As well as saving money Councillor Mayes said it was important to redesign the youth service because in some parts of the county it is not well used.
She said the initial plan to cut £500,000 from the youth service had reduced to £190,000, but there would be redundancies among youth workers.
Young people in Devizes expressed disgust at the planned savings.
18th July 2014
Farewell bash for Devizes youth club
Youngsters are to hold a farewell bash later this month to mark the closure of Devizes Youth Centre.
Devizes Town Council was told on Tuesday night that Devizes Youth Centre will close on October 1 and all youth work staff will be made redundant.
2nd October 2014
Future of the county's youth service: Meeting aimed at setting out future of youth services
A first step towards creating a new style of youth service for Wiltshire was taken on Monday evening but many people were left worried that not enough volunteers would be available to make it work.
Wiltshire Council’s portfolio holder for children’s services Laura Mayes chaired a Devizes Area Board meeting at Devizes School to launch a community-led model for youth services.
She said she was aware that people had high hopes and expectations but the youth service of the future would be very different to the one that had gone before.
Earlier this year Wiltshire Council made nearly all of its youth workers redundant but created the new posts of community youth officers.
30th April 2015
Devizes youth club to re-open
NINE months after Devizes Youth Centre held a wake to mark its closure the club is to re-open run by volunteers.
Devizes along with youth centres al over the county closed last year after Wiltshire Council slashed £250,000 from its youth service budget and reduced the number of youth workers from 144 in largely part-time posts to 25 full-time roles.
19th February 2019
FIVE years after Wiltshire Council cut its budget for youth services by £250,000 and got rid of most of its youth workers Devizes Youth has finally closed.
The club which rose from the ashes under a band of volunteers in 2015 nine months after the council's cutbacks has been using Devizes Conservative Club as a temporary base for the past nine months.
14th February 2021
New report reveals lockdown impact on Wiltshire youth
A new report has shone a light on the impact that the first national lockdown had on Wiltshire’s youth.
Lockdown#1: Impact on Wiltshire Youth has been produced by Devizes-based Wiltshire Youth For Christ (WYFC), a faith-based charitable organisation that provides pastoral care, mentoring and support to secondary school aged children across the county.
The charity has worked tirelessly during the pandemic to reach out to the region's young people and offer care and support.