As part of Croydon Council's restructure of the Integrated Youth Support Service, Croydon Youth Theatre Organisation (CYTO) is facing major cuts to its current staffing and programme in favour of a generic performing arts programme across the borough. This will involve no shows or productions, no active membership, no youth support workers and - most importantly - no sense of ownership or belonging for the young people using it.
CYTO has been running very successfully for almost 50 years, and in that time has seen thousands of Croydon's young people pass through its doors. There is no audition for membership and no extortionate fees to pay - everyone is welcome and everyone is given a chance. There have been marriages, babies and the members have formed lifelong friendships. Most importantly of all, CYTO's young people have developed, through working on various shows and with a committed and talented group of tutors, directors and youth workers, into confident, well-rounded and accepting adults. They are made to feel as though they genuinely belong somewhere, and have something truly special to call their own. This new proposed structure does not allow for this and does not, we believe, serve the young people of Croydon in the best way.
This is not just about "the arts", it is about developing and encouraging young people to find their own voices and their own paths through life - and giving them the tools and confidence to do this. Please sign the petition - let CYTO continue to nurture and develop the young people of Croydon.
Heather Millar Contact the author of the petition
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