Losing touch with youth

PUBLISHED: 12:18 16 November 2006 | UPDATED: 13:36 04 May 2010

I WAS interested to read in the Ely Standard (This Week, November 2) the young former skater s comments that adults don t understand today s youth culture. It is very true that we are spending less and less time with our young people and giving them less

I WAS interested to read in the Ely Standard (This Week, November 2) the young former skater's comments that adults don't understand today's youth culture.

It is very true that we are spending less and less time with our young people and giving them less facilities to keep them occupied.

There are very few youth clubs, and sports fields are being lost. Since the Second World War, Governments have not given local education authorities the money to manage youth clubs.

The Government is constantly telling us about the divide between the young and old, yet expects the voluntary sector to pick up the pieces. It is expected to provide what the state should maintain.

But there are not enough volunteers. Women who used to give time to the day centres and charity shops are working.

When I helped out at a day centre we used to have 20 volunteers in a week. We could call on the local youths once the schools broke up, but now they are all at work.

A children's officer was a statutory post with the local authority. He or she was a link between school and home.

But now that post has been lost and there doesn't seem to be a similar one created.

- I'm concerned that we have become a nation going over the top at Christmas. We seem to be spending more and more to celebrate.

Butchers used to encourage customers to pay weekly into a club, starting in September, to spread the cost of the Christmas dinner. Each customer was given a small red cash book which the butcher initialled against each payment - two shillings of old money was the usual amount.

There were grand Christmas village whist drives with the chance to win a bottle of whisky, sherry or even the Christmas dinner - a piece of beef or pork with assorted vegetables or a brace of pheasants.

Even during the Second World War, women managed somehow even though food was rationed.

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