‘Special help for young people to stay on Exmoor.’
Young people are an endangered species on Exmoor. Housing is unaffordable, wages are low and with a lack of options, many young residents have no choice but to move elsewhere. As a result, the community loses key service providers, suffers from shrinking school numbers, and struggles without the vital rural knowledge and skills required to ensure Exmoor thrives for generations to come.
On 9th June 2022, Exmoor Young Voices hosted its second summit at The White Horse Inn, Exford. The event brought together Exmoor National Park Authority, local housing associations, and all of the major authorities that administer Exmoor. Several of Exmoor’s young adults came to discuss how Exmoor can become a viable and sustainable place for young people to live and work.
The main aim of the summit was to reconvene after the 2-year interruption caused by the pandemic and to consider helpful changes that organisations might make. The golden goal is to halt the flow of young adults away from Exmoor.
Four members of Exmoor Young Voices addressed the Summit, speaking movingly about the barriers to finding suitable rented accommodation, or self building on the moor. This stimulated an in-depth discussion of problems, restraints and ideas. Representatives were asked to consider how they can ‘youth proof’ decision making and deliver a tangible list of pledges and actions in September.
“We’ve made positive progress by hosting the Summit and getting important decision-makers and influencers together in one room, to hear the real-world struggles of our young adult population, and discuss actions that need to be taken. One of our attendees described it as fitting together pieces of a jigsaw, which is a great way to look at it. The Summit has sparked further discussions, and we are looking forward to receiving pledges from each of Exmoor’s authorities and housing associations in the autumn.”
William Lock, EYV Chair and Summit Co-Chair
For more information, please download the Exmoor Young Voices Summit Report, which also features the startling real life stories of EYV members. If you have any questions, please contact Megan Hunt, EYV Coordinator via email: email@example.com