Youth maritime charity UKSA has called for politicians to include charitable organisations in immediate talks to address the issues underlying the riots and looting in London and other UK cities.
At the launch of its 25th anniversary year in Cowes, Isle of Wight on Wednesday, Chief Executive Jon Ely said:
“The uncomfortable events that are unfolding in London and Birmingham relate to many of the social issues charities like UKSA are working hard to address.
“With the continuing impact of the global recession on jobs, especially for the under 25s, a young generation has nowhere to go, little hope for its future and little sense that anyone cares. We are already engaging with young people who are often devoid of aspiration and convinced they will achieve nothing in their lives. For them there is little reason to abide by social norms.
“Nobody condones rioting and looting, but the absence of any definite life prospects for young people is tragic, not just for them but all of society. In coming up with an effective response, the relevant authorities need to open up a dialogue with charities and organisations like UKSA which can offer insights, create effective lines of engagement and communication - and work collegiately together in the delivery of the necessary services and reforms.”
Ely was addressing 120 UKSA Alumni, supporters, donors and island guests who were invited to the Cowes based charity to see Patron HRH The Princess Royal open a new recreational area for young people and officially launch the charity’s 25th anniversary plans.
Ely said: “It’s easy when we look at the wealthy Cowes sailing environment to miss the point that here we work with young people that experience deep loneliness and uncontrollable suffering and that for some the ‘work hard and you will get it’ mantra doesn’t work.
“But I am always amazed that the lives of young people who start at such a disadvantage can progress so well, and how resilient and determined young people are.”
Key outcomes of UKSA:
70 per cent of the UKSA’s NEET cohort are now in employment
87 per cent believe that UKSA has improved their self este
One young Apprentice said he would have committed suicide if it wasn’t for the lifeline UKSA had thrown him
Plans to continue the UKSA’s Apprenticeship scheme were put on hold after the Future Jobs Fund was scrapped. UKSA is seeking alternative funding for a further 24 Apprentices. Each Apprentice costs UKSA £7,000 to train.
UKSA recently featured in Jamie Oliver’s Channel 4 TV series, Jamie’s Dream School (Channel 4, Wednesdays, 9pm). The programme saw Dame Ellen MacArthur set sail from UKSA with four 18 years olds for a four day ocean adventure to build their team and communications skills. One of the Dream School students, Henry Gatehouse, (17), from London, has since returned to UKSA and is studying the Watersports Internship programme.
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