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Contracts announced for new Bristol Youth Links service
Release date: Tue, 25/09/2012
Bristol City Council today announced contracts worth £22m for youth and play services in the city over the next five years.
The provisional award of contracts is made in seven area based lots, plus a citywide lot to enhance local services through specialist counselling, preventing alcohol and drug misuse, reducing teen pregnancies and supporting groups with particular needs, including disabilities.
Bristol Youth Links sets out to create more up-to-date, joined up services for children and young people aged eight to 19, outside school. It will include youth groups, play services, advice and guidance, and support to help young people volunteer and get involved in their community. Services will be designed to meet needs of children and young people in local communities and will be targeted towards those who need them most.
Improved use of paid staff, backed up by effective work with volunteers, will make sure resources are focused on direct work with young people, reducing administration costs.
Cabinet Member for Targeted Improvement, Cllr Gary Hopkins, said: “At a time when other councils are slashing funding for youth services, Bristol City Council is committing to an investment of £22 million over the next five years. This will ensure there are quality services for children and young people in place to meet the needs of local communities.
“The new contracts see a mix of well proven local providers, such as Playbus and Off the Record, delivering services alongside major national players, such as Barnardo’s and Kids Company.”
Rajni Mamgai, aged 17, and Jaydence Pater, aged 18, were on the panel of eight people deciding which organisations would be awarded contracts. Together they had a quarter of the vote in choosing successful bidders.
Rajni Mamgai said: “Young people often feel adults are not listening to them. We didn’t just feed into this project, we played an active part in deciding who would run services for young people like us in Bristol in the future. I think they are looking for a safe environment where they have a chance to be heard and that is what Bristol Youth Links offers.
Jaydence Pater said: “This is all about making sure there are good services in place for young people to use. Top of my list was checking the bids were young people friendly and took young people seriously. There has to be quality there, and understanding of young people, so they have the confidence to use services. Good access is important, making sure services are available at the right time, and that workers build up young people’s trust. I’m really proud of what we have done and confident it will help shape a better Bristol, raising the aspirations of young people across the city.”
The successful bidders are:
Lot 1 - North - Consortium led by Learning Partnerships West
Lot 2 - North Central - Consortium led by Learning Partnerships West
Lot 3 - Inner City - Consortium led by Learning Partnerships West
Lot 4 - East - Consortium led by Creative Youth Network
Lot 5 - West - Consortium led by Creative Youth Network
Lot 6 - South East - Consortium led by Learning Partnership West
Lot 7 - South West - Consortium led by Learning Partnership West
Lot 8 - Citywide Specialist - Consortium led by Bristol Drugs Partnership
Nicola Burcham, Chief Executive of Learning Partnership West, said:
“Learning Partnership West are thrilled and excited to be playing a major part delivering support and play services to children and young people across Bristol through Bristol Youth Links. Learning Partnership West will work closely with Bristol City Council and the other delivery partners to ensure we create an environment where young people across the city can thrive and reach their true potential.”
Chief Executive of the Creative Youth Network, Sandy Hore-Ruthven, said:
“Creative Youth Network and our consortium partners are delighted to hear we have secured contracts to provide services that support and empower vulnerable children and young people to lead positive and fulfilling lives. We are committed to encouraging young people to develop the social and emotional skills that are fundamental for their current and future wellbeing.”
Maggie Telfer, Chief Executive of Bristol Drugs Project, said:
“Bristol Drugs Project and our partners are excited at this opportunity to deliver services that help children and young people overcome the barriers they face in achieving independence, building their resilience and unlocking their potential. We are looking forward to working with the council and other delivery partners".
A contract for a further lot, a ‘virtual youth service’ will be announced in January next year, offering online information, advice and guidance.