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Bexley youth services to focus on crime and school exclusion

PUBLISHED: 16:37 23 May 2016 | UPDATED: 16:37 23 May 2016

Councillor Philip Read, cabinet member for children's services

Councillor Philip Read, cabinet member for children's services

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A new, targeted youth services is to be launched on June 6

Young people involved in crime or at risk of school exclusion are to be the focus of the borough’s new-look youth service.

The redesigned service, which will also target those on the edge of crime, has been based on the responses of nearly 1,200 young people to a council survey earlier this year.

Cabinet member for children’s services councillor Philip Read said: “The new redesigned service will increase high-intensity one-to-one work with children and young people to improve the likelihood of their engagement and thus avoid a series of potential risks including anti-social behaviour, criminality and family breakdown.

“All these risks have a high cost to the borough’s residents and it is therefore right that our resources should be directed toward them rather than providing alternatives to services already available.”

Voluntary sector organisations will continue to provide activities such as dance, art and drama, in addition to assessment-based programmes in areas such as sexual health, knife crime prevention and substance misuse.

Welling Youth Centre, Howbury Youth Centre and a new site at Thamesmead Church of the Holy Cross will provide three sessions a week and a school holiday programme.

Some buildings, including The Link, Thamesmead, will no longer be used for youth services.

“By making our services more targeted to those young people that need us, we can do the most good within the limited budget we now have to work with and that benefits all Bexley’s residents,” Cllr Read added.

The new, targeted youth services is set to be rolled out from June 6.

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