‘The voluntary organisation forms … a unique feature of the British way of life’: One voluntary organisation’s response to the birth of the Youth Service

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Jones, Helen M.F. (2014)
  • Publisher: Haymarket Publishing
  • Subject: HN

With the future of the UK’s statutory Youth Service in doubt, this article looks back to the days of its birth. After the Second World War, some people were critical about the idea of direct state involvement and its possible association with the indoctrination of impressionable young people. However, in the West Riding of Yorkshire (WRY), the Education Authority saw the arrival of state provision as signalling an end to the need for voluntary organisations in youth work. The West Riding Association (WRA) and the Leeds Association of Girls’ and Mixed Clubs (LAGC) fought to continue their work with voluntary sector clubs where young people played a leading role in planning and organising their programmes. The Associations’ archives show the struggle leading up to their eventual amalgamation in 1950, in the face of the almost total removal of funding.
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