Taking the Shine Off Young People’s Achievements

5th August 2010

In itself it’s not the most surprising of decisions- as the DfE say, they want to concentrate spending on front line services rather than PR. However, three weeks before the event when most of the money’s been spent already? I thought the idea of efficiency savings was to boost the benefit and drop the cost- not harvest the cost and obliterate the benefit!

Had the festival gone ahead this year and been the great success it looked set to be, I’m sure it would have been an easy sell to potential corporate sponsors who could fund it in the future. This decision has made that less likely.

This program was by no means a vanity project. We should not underestimate just how important it is to challenge negative perceptions of young people. The social impact of the unfair views that so much of the media and public hold is immense whether it be fear of crime, low confidence amongst young people or rebelling against and opting out of the society that marginalises them. Its an issue that has been well documented by the Positive Images campaign http://www.cypnow.co.uk/BigIssues/Details/48990/positive-images-awards/Article/751185/Positive-Images-calling-Yob/. You only need to speak to young people for a few minutes though to hear just how frustrated they feel by it. Shine offered a great opportunity to counteract this and to encourage young people to take pride in their achievements. It’s a sad loss and we can only hope that Shine rises again in the future.

(These are my own views and I am not writing in my capacity as a member of the Shine consortium, please don’t take the views I’m expressing as those of the consortium itself)