The Young People benefiting from our projects live in one of the most deprived areas of Europe: Liverpool City Region.
There are persistently high levels of deprivation in the City Region and Liverpool remains ranked as the most deprived local authority area in England.
Liverpool’s children experience poorer health than in many other parts of the UK. One third of 10 year old children in the city are overweight and 50% have experienced dental cavities by the age of 5. Poor health is strongly linked to poverty and 28.9% of children in the city are eligible for free school meals,10.4 % higher than the national average .
The Children’s Well Being Index (CWI) is a tool that enables Commissioners of Services to map inequalities in child wellbeing down to small geographical areas. The seven domains included in the CWI are:
- Material Well-Being
- Children in Need
Of the 354 local authorities which are ranked for CWI, Liverpool came 352, two from the bottom. Liverpool comprises of 291 Lower Super Output Areas (LSOA). Over half of the Liverpool LSOA’s were classified as being in the ‘worst level of well being’. Higher concentrations of ‘worst level of well being’ are found in the City, North and Alt Valley Neighbourhood Management Areas.
Therefore there have been a number of key priorities outlined in Liverpool’s Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and Children and Young People’s Plan including:
- Improving Mental and Emotional Health
- Improving Physical Heath
- Building Well-Being and Resilience
- Reducing NEET
- Reducing Crime
- Reducing Teenage Conception
- Reducing Substance Misuse
- Improving Educational Attainment
- Supporting Children, Young People and Families with Disabilities
- Strengthening Relationships, Families and Communities
It is this context that Merseyside Youth Association provides its direct work with young people. MYA continuously monitors and evaluates its projects to ensure that each is being undertaken to meet a specific identified need. In many cases no other provider has the specific expertise or facilities to deliver services to meet these needs. The lack of support for young people is being compounded by cuts to services. This means that young people have a range of challenges to their development. The vulnerability and exclusion of young people in need from mainstream services is the reason that MYA develops and delivers its services. These services enhance their opportunities and achievements and to support community cohesion. As most young people and their families are often unable to pay for access to leisure time activities e.g. sports, music etc. there is no other resource for them to turn to other than MYA.