Yesterday I dropped in to the Lewisham Young Women’s Resource Project’s 25th anniversary celebration. LYWRP gives support to many local girls as they’re growing up – providing somebody to talk to about problems, training them in vital skills and providing somewhere to hang out with friends during evenings and school holidays.
Philippa, who works at the Project kindly showed me round the facilities and the great activities that were going on to celebrate their special day. I was fortunate to meet one young lady who explained to me how the Project had really helped her when she had got in with “the wrong crowd”, leading now to her getting a fantastic set of GCSE results. She is off to college now, but explained that she, like many of those whom the Project helps, will come back to help those who are following her. If you would like to read more about LYWRP and the services it offers do visit their website at http://www.lywrp.org.uk/.
Government cuts to local councils are going to mean that many organisations such as LYWRP will unfortunately find it increasingly difficult to keep going. LYWRP is funded predominantly by Lewisham Council; funding which is going to reduce next year as the Council is faced with the difficult task of deciding which projects, however vital their services, are going to be affected in order to meet the Government’s cuts.
Whilst the Government says that it is “clear about the importance of the services which local government provides”, the reality is sadly different. LYWRP helps some of the most vulnerable in our society; people who risk being abandoned by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Government’s policies. Whilst I recognise that the financial deficit needs to be addressed, and that significant savings must be made, the Government’s slash and burn approach, with little apparent regard to the effect on those who cannot necessarily help themselves, is not fair or sensible.
Having met some of those involved with LYWRP yesterday and having witnessed their passion and energy, I am sure that they will overcome anything the government throws out at them, .