Youth charity calls for change to improve chances for young people
20th April 2015
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The 30 page manifesto, ‘We Believe’ which draws on the experience and opinions of young people across the country, highlights five key areas for change: housing and accommodation, family work, health and wellbeing, training and education, democracy and youth engagement.

Recommendations made in the manifesto, range from a need to build more affordable housing, through to proposals for a ‘Help to Rent’ scheme which could help more young people negotiate the challenges of saving for a deposit and costly monthly rents as well as better mental health support and incentives to encourage companies to take on more young apprentices.

Young people and staff from YMCA Exeter are supporting the launch of the manifesto and the recommendations it makes.

Peter Stephenson, CEO of YMCA Exeter said: “Young people represent the future of our country. In our work, we constantly find ourselves supporting young people who are keen to learn skills, pursue job opportunities or who, once someone takes time to listen, reveal big plans and ideas for how they would like to contribute to the local community.

However, limited educational opportunities, a lack of suitable jobs and an inflexible welfare system can leave young people feeling cast aside and unsupported. With a just a little bit of extra help to help them on their way in life, the young people of our country would be able to give back so much. It makes sense for representatives from all political parties to listen to the recommendations in our Manifesto.”

Sian, 19, came to live at YMCA Exeter following family breakdown and is pleased the issues raised in the Manifesto are being addressed.

"The various opportunities on offer at YMCA really help us in understanding why it is important to play an active role in society. From the sports activities where we can build self-confidence and relationships, to the informal discussions we have about the importance of voting in the General Election, YMCA offers us the chance to engage in society for the wellbeing of everyone. We are pleased the Manifesto is speaking to an even bigger audience on our behalf.”

To pledge your support for the YMCA manifesto, and call for more support for young people, simply visit: The widget will then give the opportunity to share the pledge with your networks on Facebook or Twitter.

To download a copy of the full manifesto, visit:

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Dave B

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