Youth services campaigner takes battle to national level with documentary

Youth services campaigner takes battle to national level with documentary

CAMPAIGN: Filming in City Park are Piers Telemacque, from the NUS, with Miriam Ahmed, Granada young persons co-ordinator, and Lisa Humphrey being interviewed

Filming in City Park are Piers Telemacque from the NUS with Miriam Ahmed Granada young Persons Co-Ordinator and Lisa Humphrey who was being interviewed

Filming in City Park are Piers Telemacque from the NUS with Miriam Ahmed Granada young Persons Co-Ordinator and Lisa Humphrey who was being interviewed

First published in News
Last updated

THE voice behind a protest to stop cuts to vital youth services in Bradford is now fighting the same battle on a national scale.

Piers Telemacque, the former president of Bradford Students' Union and a Bradford College student, was one of the loudest voices of protest when Bradford Council proposed cuts to the district's youth service.

The 21-year-old set up the group Friends of Bradford Youth Services, which organised protests, attended council meetings, gathered names to petitions and debated with MPs.

Many of the cuts proposed, including closing children's centres, were scaled back in this year's council budget, although funding will likely continue to shrink in future years as the council faces a large budget gap.

Earlier this year Piers, who has also campaigned on student loan issues, became the vice-president for society and citizenship on the National NUS, and is now deeply involved in the fight to save youth services across the country.

Yesterday along with youth charity Fixers he was in City Park and the Culture Fusion youth centre to make a documentary about the importance of youth services, talking to young Bradfordians about how their lives have been shaped by youth services. But although the filming was taking place in Bradford, he hopes the film will take his message from far beyond the BD postcode.

With city hall budgets across the country being squeezed, children's centres, youth workers and after school projects are either being cut or massively scaled down.

Fixers is a charity that provides young people with assistance in making videos and short films about issues effecting young people, and Piers approached them to help get his message across.

He said: "We spoke to young people, youth workers, councillors and MPs about their experience of the youth service and why they think it is so vital. We also asked them about the detrimental effects there will be when these services start to disappear, unless the government takes a stand. We spoke to a lot of people and got a lot of different opinions and examples about how these services changes their lives.

"Doing this really made me want to take the next step in this campaign to get youth services funded to the correct level in each council across the country."

The film will be finished next month.

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