What a day! All the hard work that Livewire’s supporters have put in over the last few weeks has led to this. The Stop The Cuts protest has had an amazing response from the many local people that feel that we are doing worthwhile work as a charity. According to the BBC, the money spent nationally on services for teenagers in England had been reduced by 36% over the last 2 years, and is set to get worse. Because youth services are not protected by statutory law, they are often on the front line when it comes to budget reductions, and Livewire is no exception. And yet, to see the amount of families, older people and current members turning out and uniting for such a just cause is such a heart warming sight. I feel very proud to be involved, albeit in a small way.
We had television, radio and newspapers all come down to see for themselves what we are trying to achieve – that is to highlight the callous way that the Youth Service in Cornwall, and all over the country in general, has appeared to have been abandoned for the sake of saving a few quid. For a generation who already feel dislocated from the political process, the cuts will surely only accentuate this feeling. However, we are not going anywhere. We will continue to fight and we will continue to show the bureaucrats in Whitehall that we cannot be ignored, disregarded or marginalised. To speak of this generation as the second ‘lost generation’ would have been considered a gross exaggeration only 5 years ago. No longer. We are in danger of having an entire section of society permanently disenfranchised because their needs are considered to be, in some way, less important.
Huge thanks go out to: Andy and Julie for their ceaseless drive and commitment to the all the young people who come through their doors week in, week out; Jon Stafford for coming up with the idea of a protest, and to his band for donating all the proceeds of the sale of their single to Livewire; all the volunteers who turned out on the day to help run the stages, the coffee shop, the information stall and generally running around making everything go smoothly; Unite Community South West; the musicians who gave up their time for us and who all gave cracking performances; anyone who got on stage and spoke up for Livewire – you spoke both eloquently and passionately; and finally to everyone who turned out to support us – without you we would not survive, so thank you from all the members. United we stand!
Overall, we managed to raise several hundred pounds for Livewire, which is a fantastic achievement. Here are some pictures of the day:
Saltash Town Band:
Jesse Mullen’s Boys:
Haunt The Woods:
Sound Of The Sirens:
Andy Quick’s Flying Orchestra: