We recently featured the launch of the Youth Programme which grew to oversee and co-ordinate a wide range of youth projects under one umbrella organisation across Wester Hailes. The Youth Programme was an independent voluntary organisation and was accountable to Wester Hailes through its committee and general meetings. Annual Reports were included in the Sentinel and provided a range of information about the organisation’s progress but also a snapshot of the issues, concerns and achievements of local young people.
In 1989, the breadth of the work taking place is evident from after school clubs and playschemes to counselling and action on drugs with young people. The report also features “Seen and Not Heard”, a consultation carried out amongst young people examining why they were not engaging in decision making structures and events. You can see the annual report by clicking here on 1989 Youth Programme.
In 1990, the front page of the report focused on the go ahead for the Pyramid Centre, a purpose built centre to replace the temporary classroom unit the Youth Programme had been using. An exchange visit to Kiev in what was then the USSR was also featured with reports about the experiences of Wester Hailes young people but also what visiting Wester Hailes was like for young people from Kiev. You can read about this visit and about other projects during that year by clicking here on Youth Programme 1990.
The Youth Programme ran for 17 years and right up to the end were delivering a diverse range of activities and services. However, changes and reductions to funding across community projects in Wester Hailes meant that a number of youth projects amalgamated and the Youth Programme became part of the new Youth Agency. Their last annual report was included in the Sentinel and you can read it by clicking here on Youth Programme 1997.
Funding remains an issue for youth work both here in Wester Hailes and in other areas of the country. What should be seen as a vital investment is too often regarded as a luxury to be cut when budgets have to be tightened. These cuts may be a short term saving but they create a long term loss with lasting effects for society.