It has been interesting and a little surprising listening to the fallout from the Brexit vote both from an individual’s perspective but also (at the same time) trying to understand the ramifications for our sector and in particular our members.
If we consider some of the commentary prior to the result it was difficult to decipher the potential impact on us as a sector. In his blog published in Civil Society Rob Wilson warned the sector could take decades to recover if a Brexit vote was realised, predicting a ‘double whammy’ of reduced opportunities afforded by European income streams such as the European Structural and Investment Fund and Erasmus+, on top of a potential economic downturn impacting on vital income streams which could increase demands on our services.
I know of a number of members who utilise European funding through Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPS) and/or involved in Erasmus+ programmes which provide essential services for young people and the Brexit result must be unsettling. But also as a sector have we lost an ally in our endeavours to support disadvantaged young people? NCVO in their EU referendum discussion paper for charities purported EU values of social justice and solidarity may ‘strike a chord’ with many charitable organisations and we know organisations have used EU standards to hold UK governments to account.
The one certainty we have with the Brexit result is uncertainty but our members are robust and innovative and Ambition will support them to continue providing vital services to young people across the UK.