Staying Open for Business

Sometimes you ask one question and discover a surprising answer to another. I wondered how many of England's youth clubs had closed down after council cuts. But what became clear as I researched the issue was how, all over the country, volunteers and communities were managing to keep services open.

You can try it yourself. Do a simple internet search on "youth club closures" and read the local online newspaper stories.

The first thing you notice is how, just over a year ago, the headlines were about the fury and despair at the closure of services.

yc-newsLook at stories from this year, and they are about how local people have somehow managed to find the volunteers and the money to reopen the doors of the club or are busy fundraising and organising to do the same.

I found 60 different communities in which services have been saved, and many more where active campaigns have been launched, often with the enthusiastic backing of young people themselves.