PRESS RELEASE: Sevenoaks Town Council approves funding to support continuation of Detached Youth Work in Sevenoaks

Published: 18 December 2023

Kent County Council’s decision to stop funding voluntary sector youth services across Kent districts means that funding for the detached youth services in Sevenoaks will cease in March 2024. The service has been provided by West Kent Housing Association since 2016, working with Sevenoaks Town Council, Sevenoaks District Council, the Police and West Kent’s Community Safety team to identify priority areas for detached youth work. The partners share up-to-date information on hot spot geographical areas with emerging issues of antisocial behaviour and the team carries out regular evening street-based youth work, engaging with and supporting young people aged 11-19.

The Town Council’s Youth Services and Finance & General Purposes Committees have agreed to provide a contribution of £15,000 for the West Kent Housing, Sevenoaks District Detached Youth Work Project for 2024-2025 to enable West Kent Housing to maintain the detached youth service in Sevenoaks District during 2024/25.
The funding was approved for one year, to enable West Kent Housing to continue to provide the service whilst developing a funding plan for a long-term project starting in April 2025.
Richard Dowling, Community Development Manager at West Kent said:
“We are grateful and delighted that we have been granted this funding from Sevenoaks Town Council. It will enable us to continue working with our partners and the Town Council to deliver this important project in the local community for the years ahead. We know the positive impact this has had on young people over the last few years, and we are excited to continue this work into 2024 and 2025.”
Cllr Gustard, Chair of the Youth Services Committee commented:
“The timing of KCC’s decision to withdraw funding for all external youth services placed West Kent Housing’s detached youth worker position under threat. Their street-based service has been key in managing anti-social behaviour in Sevenoaks over the summer months. Sevenoaks Town Council took the decision to provide interim funding alongside other partners to ensure a continued service whilst WKHA source more long-term funding options.”

The funding for the Detached Youth Worker is complimentary to the other youth services provided by Sevenoaks Town Council, including House in the Basement Youth Café, Skateboard Park, Sevenoaks Youth Council, Youth Outreach Grants, supporting voluntary youth organisations, summer play events and play provision.


Linda Larter

Town Clerk/Chief Executive