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Cumbria’s Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (DPFCC), Mike Johnson, key partners and stakeholders celebrated the positive impact of the ‘Better Tomorrows’ programme at the University of Cumbria, Carlisle on Wednesday 28th June.

Launched in 2021 by former High Sheriff of Cumbria, David Beeby, ‘Better Tomorrows’ is a three-year scheme that supports people to become professionally qualified as youth workers. The Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (OPFCC)  committed three years of funding £75,000, along with over 40 other funders, to support youth workers through qualifications and training whilst gaining practical work experience with youth organisations.

Talking about ‘Better Tomorrows’, Mike Johnson comments: “It’s great that ‘Better Tomorrows’ is already developing our youth worker talent pool, increasing the number of qualified, professional youth workers in Cumbria.

“High-quality youth work has a crucial role to play in supporting many young people to achieve their full potential. Through their participation, young people gain confidence and competence, develop self-assurance, and can establish high expectations and aspirations for themselves.

“For some, being involved with youth workers and their clubs and activities, is a time for fun. A place where they can spend time with their friends and relax. For others, it provides a safe space with a trusted adult, who is someone they can turn to at times when they feel they have no one else.

“This is why it is vital that we provide qualified youth workers across Cumbria. They are an intrinsic element of our wider youth support services, providing activities and valuable support, enabling young people to achieve their potential.

“Youth workers are often the first to spot harm to young people or the emergence of anti-social behaviour and they can address such issues, before they become larger problems.

“Highly qualified youth workers are a valuable asset. A top-quality youth worker is a positive role model in a young person’s life. They can make a big impact and help young people to make healthy and positive life choices.”

Former High Sheriff of Cumbria, David Beeby, founder of ‘Better Tomorrows’ comments: “The Better Tomorrows Programme was set up because there is compelling evidence that quality youth work can make a real difference to young people’s lives and yet over the previous 10 years funding had been cut dramatically.

“To be able to turn the tide has only been possible through the generosity and support of over 40 funders. I am very grateful to the OPFCC for their fantastic support which is helping to make a difference to the lives of thousands of young people in Cumbria.”

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