Serious Violence

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:49 pm on 15th May 2019.

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Photo of Ruth Cadbury Ruth Cadbury Labour, Brentford and Isleworth 2:49 pm, 15th May 2019

I appreciate the efforts the Home Secretary is making in describing the wonderful work that a very few limited projects are doing, but I would suggest that they benefit—and I am sure that they do benefit—a relatively small number of young people.

When I was lead member for children and youth services in Hounslow about 12 years ago, I was told by young people, including so-called vulnerable young people, that they appreciated the good, specialist work that youth workers and others were doing with them, but they did not want to go into a facility with other young people and be labelled vulnerable. They wanted to participate in a universal youth facility, to be seen as part of the crowd, and perhaps to do some specific work, as and when, with those specialist workers. Effectively, the only youth work that is currently being done is for those so-called vulnerable young people. They feel labelled and separated from others, because the universal provision has all but disappeared in most of our local authorities.