Category: Young People

Ludlow Town Council approves funding to keep our junior youth club going for another year

Shropshire Council has centralised youth support services and will in future be running a team of youth outreach workers from Shirehall. It is not supporting youth clubs which must now be independently funded from charitable groups or local councils. Last night, Ludlow Town Council stepped into the breech and agreed to fund Ludlow’s junior youth club for the next financial year. This is great news. We have always needed strong youth support in Ludlow. The pandemic and school closures have put a lot of strain on young people who have been isolated from many of their friends and unable to benefit from social engagement with peers and their teachers. The town council has always shown its support young people and it is good to know that even with its financial income having been reduced this year due to the pandemic, it is still backing the young people in our town to the hilt.

Criminals are exploiting children and vulnerable adults in Shropshire and Ludlow – we have ten county lines

County lines extend drug dealing from the cities into smaller towns, including to Shropshire. Ludlow is one of the seven towns police identify as vulnerable to county line activity. Two people have recently been jailed for taking over a Ludlow house for drug dealing – cuckooing. County lines controlled from Merseyside, Manchester and the Midlands are only part of the issue. Every year in Shropshire, police, medical practitioners and councils monitor around 150 young people vulnerable to child sexual exploitation – CSE. This part of a nationwide problem of exploitation of children and vulnerable adults by criminals. Shropshire and Ludlow are low crime areas but we have many vulnerable people who are being exploited by criminals. There is good work underway to tackle the problem but it remains one of the most complex challenges for the public sector. If you have concerns about anyone, ring 101 or talk anonymously to Crimestoppers online or on 0800 555 111. For an immediate threat ring 999.

A post by Councillor Tracey Huffer, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East. In 2014, Philip Dunne gave an awkward lecture to young people at Ludlow Youth Centre. He attempted to explain why he was backing Shropshire Council’s move to convert half of Ludlow Youth Centre into offices. It was a rare intervention by Dunne in Shropshire Council’s politics. It was disastrous for Ludlow’s young people. Since then, we have struggled. We no longer have the space and privacy in the Youth Centre we need for projects like Ludlow Young Health. Our budgets have been cut. From next April, we will be almost entirely on our own. The only services Shropshire Council is expecting to provide is outreach. Contacting young people on the streets. We already fund Ludlow Young Health locally. We will have to fund the junior youth club locally. We will probably have to pay for the Youth Centre. We must reverse the trajectory backed by Dunne that has led to a catastrophic collapse of our youth services in Ludlow. We must transfer our Youth Centre into our control.

A new approach to youth services in Ludlow starts next year – we are going to tackle the big issue of mental health

Mental health services are being cut back. It can take weeks, even months, for a young person to get a mental health referral. Often, they must go to Shrewsbury for a consultation. Many youngsters can’t or won’t do that. Ludlow Youth Partnership wants to tackle this. We have partnered with the Children’s Society which runs the Beam emotional wellbeing service in Shrewsbury and Wellington. Our new drop in service launches in February. It is supported by a lot of organisations and is the first independent commissioning of the Children’s Society to provide emotional wellbeing services for young people in Shropshire.

Join us in Ludlow for the national park debate tomorrow, Thursday 29 November

Tomorrow night, Thursday, the Ludlow and Clee Local Joint Committee will be holding a public debate on the idea of seeking national park status at 7pm, Thursday 29 November. Please join us at Elim Church Hall, just off Smithfield car park in Ludlow. We will also be announcing an innovative project on tackling mental health issues among young people. Please join us. More on the national park concept: It’s time for South Shropshire be designated a national park? Should we part of a national park?

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