How has the voluntary youth service fared during 2015?

This EVALUATIVE REPORT OF (COMMUNITY) DEVELOPMENT OF PROVISION FOR YOUNG PEOPLE IN DEVON was commissioned by VOYC Trustees in July 2015 and published in the Autumn 2015. It looks at the different models of support across Devon, and examines how VOYC has worked in partnership with youth clubs and local youth services to continue providing safe and well run youth provision in many towns. It also flags up the types of support that young people and the communities that support them want and need going into the future. 


A. This Report was commissioned by VOYC Trustees in July 2015. The main aim being to inform the Trustees and other interested stakeholders of the progress being made by local communities in developing provision for young people in the wake of the reduction in funding by Devon County Council (DCC) in its youth service budgets. The report also aims to disseminate good practice and to identify the support that young people and their communities want and need to support and sustain their future efforts.

B. The Report has been produced at no cost, due to the voluntary contributions that have been made by the author and other contributors in its compilation.

C. The review took place from September to November 2015 and it focused upon case studies of three projects and a ‘desk study’ of a similar report carried out by Learning South West in Somerset in 2012/2013. The desk study of the Somerset case studies was used to compare progress with the Devon case studies and to identify the issues and successes common to both.

D. Evidence was obtained from three people, each of whom has a major leadership role in their project. This was supplemented by the evidence of three people who have been involved, to varying degrees in supporting these community development projects.

E. The report attempts to provide an outline evaluation of these projects against nationally accepted definitions and models of ‘community development’ and within local and national policy contexts.

F. Themainconclusion is that the work currently being carried out is consistent with many accepted community development practices and principles. The main recommendations (see section 4 pages 15-19) are:

  1. 1.    Training and ongoing support for those involved is paramount
  2. 2.    ‘Communities of Practice’ need to be set up to provide support, co- ordination and professional development.
  3. 3.    Projects need good quality ongoing advice and guidance
  4. 4.    Mechanisms need to be developed to facilitate partnership working between the different tiers of local government and other agencies
  5. 5.    There is a need for ongoing monitoring and evaluation
  6. 6.    The work of the young people and their communities engaged in this work needs to be included into the strategic role of the DCC Children, Young People and Families Alliance.  

To view the full report click HERE