Thriving youth clubs lighten the burden in times of financial uncertainty.

Emily Jones avatar

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The mental health of young people is being negatively impacted by the cost of living crisis, according to youth organizations. Deaf World, located in Birmingham, supports around 90 young people aged 11 to 25 who have hearing loss. They run youth clubs, drive projects, and engage in cricket. Recently, they received financial assistance from the UK Youth charity, which established grant funding to aid organizations in the face of the cost of living crisis. The government claims to be increasing youth provision, but concerns remain over their level of support.

Amin Habib, a 25-year-old who began experiencing hearing loss at the age of five, is one of the individuals who benefits from Deaf World’s services. He expressed that when people fail to participate in projects and engage with others, a sense of loneliness can arise. As a member of a hearing family, he initially felt isolated but found solace in the company of others with hearing loss who joined Deaf World and became part of a supportive community.

According to a recent survey conducted by UK Youth among young people in the West Midlands, 48% of respondents reported a deterioration in their mental health due to the cost of living crisis. Deaf World support worker, Sammey Ahmed, expressed concern about this trend. To address this issue, their organization strives to create pathways to well-being, aiming to help individuals become more at ease, confident, and knowledgeable about affording necessary expenses and engaging in activities.

UK Youth expressed apprehension that the government is not doing enough to support young people and established their fund in collaboration with the Pears Foundation to ensure that these organizations can continue providing essential support. More than half of the 331 youth organizations surveyed reported a decrease in funding. Kayleigh Wainwright, Director of Collective Action at UK Youth, acknowledged that youth workers, already under strain in providing vital support, are now facing increased pressure due to heightened needs and costs affecting everyone involved.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport responded with reassurance, stating that their Youth Investment Fund would aid in the reconstruction and redevelopment of 300 youth centers nationwide. This would allow an additional 45,000 young people to gain access. In March, the government announced funding for four youth centers in the West Midlands, with a total allocation of £6.5m for the region.

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