Posted on 19 December 2003
Millennium Volunteers is a national programme, which aims to engage young people aged 16-24 in their communities through volunteering. North Yorkshire has four very different but highly successful MV programmes. But a recent change to the funding formula for Millennium Volunteers means that there will be a decrease in the county’s budget in the region of 68% (a drop from £420K in 2003/4 to £135K by 2006/7).
This paints a bleak picture for the future of MV in North Yorkshire. The formulaic reduction fails to acknowledge the challenges associated with delivering MV across an area of 831,000 hectares and the changes in funding will mean that, by 2006/7, the county can expect to have little more than token MV provision. The four MV providers in York and North Yorkshire affected by this change in funding are:
“Over the past four years, around 2,500 young people have benefited from Millennium Volunteering provision in the county,” said York MV Co-ordinator Robert Partridge. “Many of these 16-24 year olds would not have given volunteering a second thought without the encouragement of MV staff.”
“Young people have given well over 210,000 hours of time and achieved tremendous things in a vast array of community settings. Importantly, evidence suggests that many of these young people will continue to volunteer in the future. And MV is doing much to overcome the impression that young people are a scourge on society. MV provides them with positive outlets for their skills and talents and helps to ensure that they feel part of their local community.”
“I think I can speak for all those involved in the delivery of Millennium Volunteers in York and North Yorkshire when I say that we are deeply saddened by the impact this will have on the young people in our county. Whilst we are doing everything we can to ensure that MV will continue, the sad fact is that these programmes, whilst inexpensive in the big scheme of things, cost money to run. And the DfES are telling us that other parts of the country are a higher priority.”