Over the years Porthleven has grown from once a small fishing village to now a small town; thought the heart and soul of Porthleven still is has a village feeling. With a larger settlement, the need for services in Porthleven is similar to our neighbouring town, Helston, but it could also be argued it is different. Therefore, we can and should look at how services are delivered to the benefit of Porthleven and not having to compete with services with other areas. One area that I believe Porthleven could be better served is by having its own Youth Support Worker.
The idea of Porthleven having its own Youth Support Worker is in part of changes to how youth work is delivered both by Cornwall wide and nationally. Therefore, these changes should be seen as an opportunity for Porthleven. With this in mind, I put a proposal to Porthleven Town Council to fund out of the precept, a Youth Support Worker who would be dedicated to supporting young people in Porthleven. The costs of this post are much less than you would imagine, but I firmly believe this is money well spent.
The cost for a Youth Support Worker (Grade Y10) based on gross annual pay of £19,636 delivering 9 hours per week (three 3 hour sessions) based on 52.14 paid weeks comes to a total: £2026.12 actual pay: £1592.11 with a 1% pay award of £15.92 = £1608.03 plus superannuation of £257.28, superannuation deficit of £56.28 plus NI of £104.52. Add in some administration of around £500, you get grant total of £2500 for 52 weeks. This Youth Support Worker could really make a difference to Porthleven’s young people and could be the first steps to having more youth services in the town.
Town councillors at their monthly meeting discussed the proposal and where minded to support such a post – which is fantastic news. Before we get carried away with the good news there is still a lot more work that needs to be done before this post is operational. Work will now be undertaken to look at the role of the Youth Support Worker and their remit. Furthermore, I am also grateful to Cornwall Council who are willing to help set up this position. I am hopeful once all this points have been address is for the position to be in place early in 2015. It is good to see Porthleven Town Council (and Helston Town Council) who are willing to deliver services at a community based level.
Lastly, people may raise the question of what about a new youth centre, and in an ideal world it would be great to have one in Porthleven. The reality of funding such a building is expensive and with limited funding option. However, there are other building available two being the Children’s Centre and the other is the town council meeting room, both would be free to use and could be used to help deliver youth related services in the area. Having a building is one thing, but sometimes you have to go to where the young people hang-out which is often outside. So a balance needs to be struck.