Swindon Youth Partnership was launched on 14 September 1998 shortly after the establishment of Swindon Borough Council (SBC) as a unitary authority and the transfer of responsibility for Education and Youth Services from Wiltshire County Council. SBC’s decision to increase the letting charges for use of school premises was an issue that united the sector and prompted a wide range of organisations to come together to protect their interests.

Early support from across the sector was strong with regular meetings addressed issues such as funding, training, CRB checks etc. SYP also organised an annual awards programme which recognised the contribution of volunteers in the sector for their work with young people in Swindon.

A formal constitution and the establishment of an Executive Committee followed the award of an annual SBC Community grant and the appointment of a part-time paid co-ordinator. SYP produced a Member’s Handbook providing advice and guidance on how to set up and run an organisation in the voluntary sector. However major changes in the Borough Youth Services in 2006 resulted in the withdrawal of the grant and the loss of staffing making it difficult to maintain the same level of activity prompting the Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee commissioned research to evaluate the potential for SYP (A Future for Swindon Youth Partnership).   The AGM adopted the report and made the decision to try and implement the report recommendations to continue the work of SYP.

Recent developments

In 2009 Swindon Youth Partnership strengthened the Executive Committee with new members from a wider cross-section of groups, and secured grants from Wiltshire and Swindon Community Foundation and Swindon Borough Council to cover running costs.

We are currently running short conferences bringing together a wide selection of groups for networking and tackling topical issues facing the sector.