A Message From Our Chair

Hear a message from AYC’s Chair, Glen Jordan.

A Letter From Glen Jordan - Chair Of The Charity & Local Parent

I am writing to you both as a parent whose children have and still do enjoy the many benefits of the activities and support provided by the Youth Club, and as the Chair of the Charity – Friends of Ashtead Youth Club.
The reason I am writing to you is to share with you a consultation launched by Surrey County Council that outlines a proposal to reduce their direct involvement in what they describe as the “Universal Youth Work”, in order to focus resources on vulnerable young people. They hope to engage with the community in order to look at the viability of a range of possible options to support the community to take a more active role in delivering Youth Work, andmanaging or using the current Youth Club buildings. Please follow this link to see their consultation website: https://www.surreysays.co.uk/csf/universal-youth-work-proposal/
I hope you will join with us and support us to explore what options we might be able to find with local organisations and Surrey County Council in order to secure a future for our thriving youth work services, and popular community facility. There are already eight different organisations or groups, that deliver services and activities from the Youth Club – to over 200 children and young people each week – aged as young as 4, and as old as 24.
I feel it’s important to be clear, if we were to take no action, the worse case outcome of this strategy
is the permanent loss of our Youth Workers, Youth Work and our Youth Club Building.
As a charity, we are disappointed that Surrey are proposing to prioritise their funding elsewhere, we believe that a well run Youth Club such as our own, positively prevents young people becoming vulnerable and so removing professional Youth Workers will increase numbers of youngsters getting into trouble, dropping out of school and experiencing other factors that will hold them back in life. 
Whilst we oppose a reduction in funding, we do understand the reality of the current financial climate, local authorities all over the country are having to make very difficult decisions. We are fully committed to working with Surrey County Council to find the solution that best serves our community. Undoubtedly they will need to help with funding the solution initially as we will need time to get up and running. However, through working alongside other groups in the community we are hopeful we will find a solution that will secure quality Youth Work provision, and a thriving community facility for many years to come.
We will not be able to achieve this on our own, and so I would invite you to actively participate in this process by doing the following:

Please complete the questionnaire either online, or in paper form and return it to the Youth Club – this will help provide evidence that the work of the Centre is valued and important to the community. Please do take the opportunity to robustly state in the box for Q9 in the questionnaire – why you think the Youth Club is important!
Please come along to an engagement event to talk to the people running the consultation on the 21st Jan @ Ashtead Youth Club. This is a drop in event so come along at any time between 6.30 and 8.30pm.
Please stay interested and involved. This is the first stage of many, we won’t be able to do this on our own – there may well be something you can offer along the way. If you are interested in being involved but are not sure how to or what to do next, please leave us a message via our contact page, or email us direct on: friendsofayc@gmail.com. We will find a way to make sure you can contribute and stay involved.

I hope you feel able to support both the Youth Club and us as a Charity. Unfortunately, circumstances are such that if we don’t step forward now, we will lose the Youth Work and Youth Club that so many have benefited from over the years. We hope you will join us to ensure that many more will benefit in the future.
Kindest regards,

Glen Jordan

Chair – Friends of Ashtead Youth Club.

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