Youth Services Need To Focus More On Cohesion

A Government report due out this week is to call for youth services to get more involved in community cohesion and integration work. The Communities and Local Government study, produced by the Commission on Integration and Cohesion, is expected to say services need to increase their focus on the area.

The commission was set up in August 2006 to advise the Government, and is due to report on Thursday (14 June).

Hamza Vayani, founder of Youth Voice in Leicester and youth lead on the commission, said: “Children and young people are critical to integration issues. For this to work, it is about how services are structured across communities, and offering a variety of opportunities to make young people feel part of Britain.”

He explained: “Three hundred young people came from different backgrounds in England to our conference in March and told us integration and cohesion work by youth services nationally, is patchy. We’ve seen good examples, but youth services and schools don’t do enough and need to up their game.”

Vayani said local authority youth services, the voluntary sector and faith groups should all do more to promote cohesion.