By Callum Robinson
In a recent announcement, the Education Authority announced severe cuts in funding to youth support services across Northern Ireland. This is part of a broader programme of education cuts. This loss of funding will result in reduced frequency of the groups’ operation, with some becoming open only four days a week.
An Attack on Job security
The coming cuts will not only have a detrimental impact on the development of young people but will cost many workers from these services, with some organisations predicting losses of a quarter of their staff. In what world could it be said that our society rewards hard work when those who have dedicated their career to guiding and protecting young people are being thrown to the side while we live in a society where the super rich are making more profits than ever.
The Risk To LGBTQ Youth
Cara Friend, NI’s biggest runner of youth groups has announced that it will have to close all of its regional youth services due to the proposed cuts to funding. This is particularly disastrous as LGBTQ youth are at substantially greater risk of damage to their health. These cuts will leave young LGBTQ people isolated and result in real-world damage to the mental wellbeing of thousands, who suffer from feelings of low esteem and social isolation due to the prevalent intolerant attitudes of a portion of our society, which are reflected sharply in our government too. This destruction of support services, which are availed of by many trans young people could not have been timed worse to inflict damage. Over the last few years, we have seen many attacks on trans people, with their scapegoating by the right-wing media utilised to dehumanise and ostracise them from society. The loss of support services coupled with a lack of healthcare is a slow killing by those in power against a group of which they are cruelly intolerant. It must be resisted, young people have already organised protests and even occupations of the Education Authority, if this is built on these vital services could be saved.
(Appeal from Cara Friend)
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You can email them on the email addresses below and please do cc Cara-Friend in on email@example.com. Thank you!
Dept of Education Permanent Secretary
Education Authority Chief Executive