AFTER AN 11 hour day in work I have come home to review the personal statement on a job application form that needs to be submitted tomorrow, and the text looks something like this. Summing up a career and why I want a new job is an interesting and challenging means of reflection.
I love my work with the LGBT youth group, and I am fortunate to be employed in these uncertain times. However, the job is vulnerable since it is funded by the city council which has to find £32 million of savings in 2013/14, on top of the £141 million of cuts in the last two years, despite having some of the worst urban deprivation in Europe. Over the next four years, the Mayor of Liverpool has to find £143million of savings from a total spend of £480m – a huge challenge for the city. In time all youth services will be provided by commissioned agencies in the private or voluntary sector instead of the Council.
In the meantime we try to maintain a quality service on a shoestring and wonder how much we will have to run it with next year. I may be facing reduced hours in April, and the loss of colleagues who help me to run the groups. We are likely to get 90 days notice that our jobs are at risk when we return to work after the Christmas holiday, and not for the first time.
So I am left with a dilemma – do I hold my nerve and fight on for another year in the hope of a breakthrough in securing new funding, or do I look around for other opportunities – and can I somehow do both? Bizarrely, finding funding to sustain existing projects is much harder than getting funding for new initiatives, and securing the resources to prevent young people from getting into mental health or criminal justice services is very hard to come by, even though early intervention with young people is much less expensive than specialist crisis services.