Barwell Campaigner marks Youth Work Week

Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 15 November 2020

AFTER a week of celebrating youth work a Barwell-based campaigner is calling for the youth service to be refunded.

Barwell campaigner Mathew Hulbert

Mathew Hulbert, who was the Councillor ‘Children and Young People’s Champion’ for Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council from 2011 until 2015, has taken part in this year’s Youth Work Week event, which ran from Monday 2 November until Friday 6 November.

The theme for this year’s national Youth Work Week event was ‘ambitious for youth work.’

Hulbert serves as a Liberal Democrat Parish Councillor in the village of Barwell in the Redhall Ward.

Mathew is the co-author of the Liberal Democrats’ national policy about the youth service.

Back in late July, he also contributed a column on the importance of youth work for Layla Moran’s book titled ‘Build Back Better’, which was digitally published online. Layla is the Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, and a former leadership candidate.

Mathew has made regular appearances on television where he has called on the Government to ensure that local authorities have the necessary budgets needed to be able to properly fund youth services and to make that funding statutory.

One of Mathew’s efforts in the 2020 Youth Work Week event included taking part in an online session entitled ‘Cuppa With A Youth Worker’.

The meeting was organised by the Institute for Youth Work, a membership organisation for youth workers and those who support youth work, which Mr. Hulbert is a member of.

It involved a Zoom call with a youth worker in Middlesborough.

The youth worker had benefited from the youth service herself when she was younger and has now pursued a career in it herself.

In a digital discussion with the National Education Union’s Councillor Network, Mathew raised the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the two following subsequent national lockdowns, and restrictions on youth workers and the service that they provide.

In a statement, Mathew Hulbert, said: “Youth work has a vital role to play in the lives of many young people, especially those hardest to reach.

“Youth work is about much more than playing ping pong in a draughty hall, it’s about qualified youth workers providing essential support to young people when it comes to often complex emotional and practical needs.

“Over the past ten years hundreds of youth clubs have closed nationwide and countless youth workers have been lost from the profession as local authorities have made cuts due to the restricted budgets provided to them by central government.

“All major parties committed, in their general election manifestos last December, to provide significant extra funding for the youth service. The government must now make good on that pledge.

“I will continue to put what pressure I can on Ministers to do exactly that, along with fellow campaigners.

“Youth work changes lives and there’s never been a more urgent time to provide the resources needed for them to not only survive but thrive.”

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