Nice and Serious creates a new campaign for YMCA, highlighting cuts to youth services

Creative agency Nice and Serious has recently launched a new campaign for YMCA, which looks to tackle the drastic 70% spending cut to youth services over the past decade.

Through a film and series of posters, the This is Not a Safe Space campaign looks to highlight the devastating effects government funding cuts have on young people today.

It uses what Nice and Serious terms a "dark and gritty aesthetic" alongside with bold language to emphasise the urgency of the situation. The 70% funding cut across England and Wales has seen the disappearance of youth centres and youth work jobs, and this campaign aims to pressurise the government into restoring youth services funding back to its 2010 levels.

"Campaigns for youth services often make their case either by sharing the positive experiences of previous generations or by championing benefits around employability, crime rates and society," says Nice and Serious. "This approach fails to acknowledge that young people have a right to services which they value in the here and now."

The urgency of the situation is highlighted in the no-BS approach of the campaign, which shows young people using paint and chalk to show what's missing in sites that are dark, frightening and pretty edgy-looking. The images show that in a shortage of funding for youth services, kids are making do with dangerous 'playgrounds' and a lack of true mentorship that means less-than-good influences step in to take their place.

It's a deliberately provocative approach, as the young people's additions of words like "careers advice", or hand-drawn football team members in dilapidated spaces show that "despite youth services disappearing, the need for them never did," as Nice and Serious puts it.

To date, the YMCA campaign has attracted over 13,000 signatures.


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