Youth Action Network to close after losing funding

Volunteering charity Youth Action Network (YAN) is set to close in September after failing to secure additional funding.

The Birmingham-based charity supports organisations that provide youth-led volunteering opportunities across England, but relies on the Office for Civil Society (OCS) for about 90 per cent of its funding, which is due to end in March. Five staff will lose their job as a result of the closure.

The OCS announced last year that it plans to reduce the number of strategic partners from 42 to 15 from April. YAN believes that it is unlikely to receive additional money from the OCS when its existing grant runs out as it is one of the smaller strategic partners.

Davina Goodchild, chief executive of YAN, said it was also unlikely that it would be able to secure additional funding before September. She said: “There are very few sources of funding for voluntary infrastructure organisations. The OCS was about the only funder and there’s no chance of raising money from our members or local authorities as they’re having their funding for frontline services cut.”

The charity estimates that its members provide around 400,000 young people with youth-led volunteering opportunities each year.

YAN is proposing to hand over its assets to the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services when it closes. Members will vote on the proposal at a special general meeting to be held in Birmingham on 9 March.

Goodchild added that cuts in funding to youth volunteering organisations will lead to significant falls in the numbers of young volunteers.