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EXCHANGE The voluntary and community youth sector in dialogue
Autumn/Winter 2012 Issue 15
Under our Umbrella News: Active Citizens PCCs â€“ Youth Charter Social Enterprise Factsheets Policy: The breadth of policy issues affecting our members Articles by: Momentum Amaze Angling Unlimited Outset Youth Action Anne Frank Trust ...and many more!
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NCVYS member profile: AMAZE
Policy update and analysis
NCVYS member profile: Angling Unlimited
NCVYS member profile: Outset Youth Action
Connections and Communications
NCVYS member profile: Anne Frank Trust
Article: Measuring Well-being
Case study: Reading Borough Council
The members that we profile here by no means fully represent our membership’s diversity – to do so in any justice would need a lot more space than we have – but we hope the focus of the magazine gives you just a taste of who’s Under our Umbrella.
Workforce development update
As ever, we welcome contributions from our members for our next issue of Exchange, so if you’ve got news or ideas for an article, get in touch with us by emailing email@example.com
Meet the Chief Executive: Rosie Ferguson, London Youth
Enjoy the read,
Rob Candy Editor
Welcome to Issue 15 of Exchange magazine
The theme of this edition is Under our Umbrella The definition of an umbrella organisation is an association of often related, industry specific, institutions, who work together formally to coordinate activities or pool resources. One group, the umbrella organisation, provides resources, and is occasionally (to a degree) responsible for the groups under its care. The reasons for establishing or joining an umbrella organisation are many; for example, the ability to carry out activities not possible when alone due to economies of scale; a larger pool of experts, experience, shared knowledge, sense of community and support; increased public awareness, and greater clout when lobbying. Here at NCVYS we’re clear on our mission, values, and what drives us. Established in 1936 by a pioneering group of 11 organisations, NCVYS was tasked with the duty of nationally representing and supporting our members, and of being an independent voice of the voluntary sector. We’ve come a long way since then, but our mission hasn’t changed; we still work with our membership of voluntary and community organisations to build thriving communities and sustainable networks that empower all young people to achieve their potential. In doing so, our membership has grown from 11 to over 290, working across the whole of the country. Given this, we decided that the 2012 Autumn/Winter edition of Exchange should focus on the breadth and diverse nature of the NCVYS membership. Under the NCVYS umbrella structure you’ll find an astonishing range of people and projects, all of whom combine to form a dazzling spectrum of methodology in reaching out to young people in England. From large to small, uniformed to not, network to independent and everything in between, the NCVYS membership reflects the broad and creative approach of the wider sector.
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NCVYS NEWS Active citizens Active Citizens, a British Council innovation, is a programme designed to explore cultural awareness, citizenship and social action. In November NCVYS started the delivery of our Active Citizens programme, taking an inspiring group of young people to Birmingham for a weekend residential to begin to explore identity, culture and communication in communities, through discussion, reflection and creative activities. It proved to be an intense, thought-provoking and incredibly positive weekend – an experience we will never forget. Our young participants (aged between 18-25) will now move into the second phase of the programme: exploring active citizenship and social action. We’re very excited to work with them and support them through their Active Citizens learning journey! http://www.ncvys.org.uk/Active_Citizens.html
Call on your Police and Crime Commissioner to engage with young people Elected Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) are here: from 22nd November they take up post across all of England and Wales (and the Mayor of London already holds the same responsibilities). Young people will be affected by these new highprofile figures. PCCs will have a public mandate and a wide remit to set police and crime priorities and influence other agencies in their areas.
Young facilitators of 2012 embark on new adventures The one-year contract for NCVYS’s Young Facilitators for 2012 will come to an end in January 2013. Six out of the recruited nine facilitators will leave to embark on new journeys after the successful completion of their service while the remaining three will extend their contract along with six newly employed members to the team. The Young Facilitators are employed by NCVYS on a yearly basis and are based in each of the nine English regions to expand, support and further promote NCVYS’s youth participation work to members and young people regionally. The team have made a fantastic effort and have successfully collaborated to develop NCVYS’s youth participation work by building positive relations with young people from our national youth forum, supporting their development and engagement and identifying regional opportunities for young people through visits to local and regional NCVYS members and other projects. Young facilitators are paid NCVYS staff and work on a part time basis (10 hours a week) for one year, and we are delighted to welcome our 2013 young facilitators to the organisation – more to follow! For further information on NCVYS and ENVOY and to get in touch with your local or regional young facilitator, please visit the following website: www.ncvysenvoy.co.uk
Commission on Youth In April this year, ResPublica and NCVYS were delighted to launch a joint 12-month Commission on Youth. Following our work with many youth organisations in the aftermath of the August riots, NCVYS has maintained commitment to help build solutions with members and partners to one of the worst waves of civil unrest in a generation. The aim of the Commission in its first stages will be to identify gaps in public understanding and offer innovative angles to these by investigating the correlation between institutional ‘anomie’ and civil unrest. The key question this project will seek to answer is whether the alienation from social institutions translates into the fragmentation of social identity and rejection of self-regulatory values. The discussions and topics to be explored through the Commission will serve as a basis for future research or policy initiatives in key areas affecting young people and communities. Please visit our website for more information: http://bit.ly/CoYouth
Social Enterprise As part of its ongoing work to transform the sector, NCVYS has produced fact sheets on a range of topics. Recent publications include a guide on intellectual property (IP) (http://bit.ly/MT1Dpb), and a summary of the Young Foundation’s Framework of Outcomes for Young People (http://tiny.cc/Factsheet5). The IP fact sheet aims to give you a simple but comprehensive overview of what IP is, and how you can best protect your know-how, ideas and publications for the benefit of your organisation. The Framework of Outcomes fact sheet is a summary for providers. Our sector has often found it difficult to demonstrate the difference services make to young people. The fact sheet outlines the framework process suggested by the Young Foundation – it’s designed to help you demonstrate impact and improve outcomes by developing the capabilities of the young people you work with.
Many candidates have signed up to NCVYS’s Youth Charter for PCCs, which was written by our Youth Advisory Group in consultation with hundreds of young people. Now PCCs are taking up post we need to encourage all of them to sign (if they haven’t already) and help them to meet the pledges in charter.
The final fact sheet in the series, due for publication in December, will be on leadership. The content will focus on:
The Youth Charter is online at pccyouthcharter. wordpress.com where you’ll find the charter document and who’s signed up to it. That is also the place where PCCs can sign the charter. You can join the organisations endorsing the Youth Charter there too.
• the need for more and better partnership work
If your work with young people relates to crime or community safety, link with your local Safer Future Communities network who will already have built links with the PCC and other local partners on behalf of the VCSE sector. (Find your local lead organisation at bit.ly/sfc_networks)
• context – what does the sector need from its leaders in this challenging time • skills and emotional intelligence • understanding leadership styles We always welcome feedback on our resources, and encourage you to share them with others. There are further fact sheets available in this series; they cover social enterprise, social finance and governance structures for social enterprises: http://www.ncvys.org.uk/Overarching_Strategic_ Partnership.html
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NETWORK NEWS Momentum is vital to our working, looking at training and support. Without this we would have been run ragged trying to find the information. – Julie, Holt Youth Project.
of their energy and commitment to ensure they can still support their communities. I see young people crying out for opportunities to get involved and realise their aspirations. I cannot paint a pretty picture for you but it is certainly an inspiring one. When you look closely at communities, urban or rural, working together in difficult times, where literally every penny counts and working hard to stay open from one month to the next you have to view this in absolute awe. Why do they struggle so hard? Youth clubs/groups are different now, not only do they provide fun activities, but they are also a place of safety, a place to eat, a place to be listened to and a place to thrive. It is no longer about being entertained for a couple of hours every week, and every single volunteer out there knows this and recognises how it supports their community. Our membership is growing, not only in size but also in diversity and the way in which we offer services has to match the needs of those clubs and groups. We are working hard to fully understand what our members not only want but desperately need to fulfil their roles in the lives of children and young people in Norfolk. Gone are the days of provision fitting in to neat boxes, children and young people are seeking different types of activities and fewer resources means provision has to be delivered in very different ways. Our members range from groups associated with their local village pond, and parkour/freerunning, to a bus fitted with gaming equipment and vibrant sofas that tours local towns and villages. Although change is the norm in the voluntary sector, it still needs to be recognised and responded to. As well as the intense support for members we maintain our strong and well respected strategic partnerships and relationships, built on mutual recognition with key decision makers, which is critical. This enables Momentum to ensure changes or decisions that affect members and the children and young people they support are informed by accurate information and direct evidence. Central to achieving this is our role in facilitating quality multi-sector communication and working in partnership with agencies across the whole of the county. Young boy making a crown to celebrate the Jubilee at our info stand at the Royal Norfolk Show
NEW ROLE, NEW COUNTY, NEW CHALLENGES In May this year I had the pleasure of becoming CEO for Momentum (Norfolk), an umbrella organisation that supports over 300 voluntary and community groups and organisations working with children and young people in the county of Norfolk. Momentum had already been through quite a journey before I joined, increasing in size and adopting a new name in the last two years. My 12 years experience in the voluntary sector across the Eastern Region have been focussed on disability, participation and empowerment, and entering the world of children and young people’s specific services has been a great adventure with a very steep learning curve. Alongside this I’ve had the great pleasure of getting to know the county of Norfolk and its communities. Following changes and cuts to youth services in Norfolk a great number of groups and clubs are struggling, even more so than the ‘expected struggle’ the voluntary and community sector usually faces, and things are difficult. I am witnessing people that already freely give up their time being pushed to the limits
Our services are able to provide members (whether they are starting up or well established) with the support that can mean the difference between opening or closing, or from the point of view of communities, whether or not children and young people have the opportunity to access safe, inspiring, challenging and fun activities. Julia Redgrave, CEO, Momentum (Norfolk) www.momentumnorfolk.org.uk
You help me keep going; I think I might give up without your support. I’m very grateful to Momentum. – Chris, Koolkidz.
Young person decorating a t-shirt as part of a self-expression activity
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MEMBER NEWS New IARS project IARS recently received funding to run a three-year, innovative user-led project to create fairer, more gender sensitive treatment for refugee and asylum seeking women. It aims to promote understanding about refugee women’s needs and experiences and increase awareness about how violence and trauma may affect refugee and asylum seeking women by involving refugee and asylum seeking women in designing special training for professionals and service providers. http://tiny.cc/IARSproject
A new resource to engage and inform Scouts NCVYS New members Following our most recent trustee board meeting NCVYS has now welcomed six new member organisations. Please follow the links to find out more about the great work they do. Charles Harrison Associates is a small company working in the youth sector with a voluntary arm which is currently not delivering youth services. They undertake capacity building, support with establishing voluntary organisations including governance, fundraising, quality and performance across youth services. Both founding directors have a background in youth work, as both operational service managers and front line youth workers and latterly as service and strategic managers. http://charlesharrisonassociates.co.uk/index.php Fieldfare Trust works with people with disabilities and countryside managers to improve access to the countryside for everyone. For countryside service providers they supply advice and training services, supported by their research into national standards for accessibility under the BT Countryside for All Project. For members of the public they run projects which can enable them to take action locally, provide information on accessible places to visit and run events like the Fieldfare Challenge which encourages young people to get active in the countryside. http://www.fieldfare.org.uk/ Maureen O’Callaghan/Children and Youth has over 30 years of extensive and relevant experience of working with children and young people in a variety of different sectors and in different roles. Maureen has been a long standing friend and ally of NCVYS and we are delighted to welcome her once again to the network. Her particular area of interest is in mindfulnessbased approaches to working with young people, and more specifically how to develop approaches that engage and sustain the interest of young people who would benefit most from learning about mindfulness. She is currently working on initiatives that bring together mindfulness-based approaches to young people’s personal and social development. http://www.linkedin.com/in/calmspace The Mindful Community is a newly formed and rapidly expanding not-for-profit organisation at the leading edge of youth empowerment. A new organisation, they are based in Leeds and constituted as a CIC. They have recently successfully recruited a board of trustees and are currently working with trustees and young people to develop a strategic plan. 06
Main activity includes delivering 10 week programmes to 16-19-year-olds within school PSHE environment. The basis of the training is a holistic approach focussing on social skills, self-awareness and youth leadership. http://themindfulcommunity.com/ MySI is a dynamic project that provides free training to 13-21-year-olds in skills and techniques, including Time Management, Presentation Skills, Communications and Project Planning, etc. MySI also gives all participants a chance to use their talents to make a real and lasting change. Participants can become "Social Innovators" by creating youth-led projects designed to make a difference. They do this through a process of project development that isn't found anywhere else and that anyone can do. http://www.mysi.org.uk/
A bid to get Scouts more involved with politics has been launched with the publication of a resource pack to teach young people about Parliament. The Talk This Way pack, which is being given to all Scout leaders, uses a range of activities to show how Scouts can engage with and influence the democratic process. The resource, created alongside Parliament’s education service, is designed to get young people talking to politicians and to develop relationships between Scouts and their local MPs. http://www.scouts.org.uk/campaigning
Save the Children is an internationally active nongovernmental organization that promotes children's rights, provides relief and helps support children in developing countries. It was established in the United Kingdom in 1919 in order to improve the lives of children through better education, health care, and economic opportunities, as well as providing emergency aid in natural disasters, war, and other conflicts. Save the Children promotes policy changes in order to gain more rights for young people especially by enforcing the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child. They have recently developed a Young Leaders programme as part of their UK youth strategy programme. http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/
For more information about membership and to see a full list of current NCVYS members please visit http://bit.ly/NCVYSmembers
Send in your member news We are always on the lookout for stories and news about our membership. If you have a story that you would like to share with our network of over 290 members and the readership of Exchange, please contact the Exchange editor via firstname.lastname@example.org
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Christians have been “officially” doing youth work for nearly 200 years, since George Williams set up the YMCA in 1844. More recently, as the statutory sector caught up, there has been an increasing professionalisation of youth work and the church, with its largely volunteer work force, took a back seat. However, with the number of youth workers in the church steadily growing, there was a general recognition of a need for a professional approach both to employment and youth work practice. That said, given the informal nature of youth work and the structure of the church there are many, many volunteers still doing much of the work. AMAZE was started in the late 1990’s in response to the increasing demand for support and advice, particularly around employment, but really anywhere that legislation affected youth and children’s work in the church and Christian organisations. Currently, AMAZE is going through a change as we have broadened our outlook and, through our experience supporting hundreds of churches, we have identified that to practice effective youth and children’s work churches and Christian organisations need support in the following four areas: • Fundraising & finance • Strategy & vision • Training & development • Policy & practice We provide support services across these four areas which include: training events; online access to resources such as template documents; information pages and guidance on topics in each area (e.g. how to write a funding application; how to describe a compelling vision and get buy-in to it; how to manage and motivate volunteers; how to do recruitment and selection).
The primary way we deliver these support services is through our new website. Our aim is to provide a onestop-shop where our members can find the support they need in one place, across the four areas described above. Here’s what some of our members have said: “As the vicar of a busy parish with a growing staff team, I have found the AMAZE manuals extremely helpful in providing tried and tested guidelines that we can draw on. It means that we don't have to reinvent the wheel, and also shows the Church Council that we're not just pulling policies and practices out of the air, but following procedures that have been thought through and tried out. Thank you AMAZE!” Rev Dr Simon Coupland Vicar, St Paul's Kingston Hill “We have recently appointed a Youth Worker for our Ecumenical coffee shop and Youth facility and have found the publications and personal support of AMAZE invaluable. It enables us to approach our work with professional competence knowing that we have on hand accurate and easily accessible advice. It is the best investment we have made and compared with many commercial organisations represents excellent value for money.” Charles Nevin Trustee of Caféunity
The next phase of our development at AMAZE will be to provide more online tools for our members. For example: • Recording continuous professional development • Self assessment tools to identify development areas • Personal development planning and career mapping (for example using National Occupational Standards) • Delivery of some online training solutions, bringing together learning providers and learners on our website In the next few years AMAZE wants to be providing even more support to an increasing number of Christian youth, and children’s and families’ workers. We want to provide them with tools to be more effective, including continuous professional development, and a place to progress through development plans and deliver learning solutions. We also want to better represent the Christian sector in youth work matters, from grassroots workers to larger organisations and church groups. Ultimately AMAZE is about ensuring that organisations and the workforce conducting Christian youth and children’s work have what they need to make a difference in the lives of young people. For more information about what AMAZE does please visit our website www.amaze.org.uk or email email@example.com.
Leon Coates, Assoc CIPD AMAZE Director
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The policy landscape
NCVYS consultation responses
In this edition’s policy analysis Dom Weinberg looks at the breadth of issues affecting our members. NCVYS members must keep their eye on all manner of Government policies. With large scale reforms in education, health and welfare young people and youth organisations have multi-faceted and complex changes to get their heads around. The Government’s youth policy statement Positive for Youth does give an overarching vision for young people, but with all Government departments having relevance for different groups of young people the list of reforms affecting NCVYS members is almost endless. A few key areas of policy do stand out – in particular early intervention, youth unemployment and localism. Early intervention has been much in the news recently, as contention over the use of the Early Intervention Grant (EIG) has spread. NCVYS welcomes increased investment in early years, but we’re worried that this may be at the expense of much needed services for young people, with many of the grants rolled into the EIG previously ring-fenced for youth services. With the EIG’s own ring-fence ending in 2013 and increased financial pressure locally, future resource allocation to young people’s services remains uncertain. With figures showing over a million unemployed young people becoming the norm and a growing number without a job for over a year (around 270,000) or two years (100,000) it’s widely recognised that youth unemployment is a serious problem reflected across the world. It is especially concerning for those groups of young people (for example based on their geography, ethnicity or education level) at particular risk from being not in education, employment or training. The Raising of the Participation Age along with the Government’s championing of Apprenticeships, as well as its Work Programme (and the associated Youth Contract) may offer some solutions, but many NCVYS members are working with young people who need much support to fulfil their potential. The localism agenda provides opportunities for our members to facilitate community involvement in local decision-making, but brings a challenging and an increasingly competitive environment, especially for those organisations that work across local boundaries. The new Social Value Act should enable commissioning to become more aligned with what is in the best interest of local communities and those organisations that serve them, but with the pressures on local finances, only the most considered and participatory of approaches are likely to lead to improved outcomes for young people. Beyond these major drivers in the policy arena, there are also significant changes taking place in the youth justice system. These intersect with the new structures that are being introduced to the cross-cutting Troubled Families agenda and the new Police and Crime Commissioners. The Home Office is also responsible for the changes in safeguarding legislation which, among other things, will replace the Criminal Records Bureau with the Disclosure and Barring Service. As well as our weekly policy bulletin and monthly sector-news bulletin, our recent briefings (detailed in the next column) include information on a number of these areas, as well as a list of the ministers most relevant to our members. Forthcoming briefings on areas including housing and unemployment will help members to continue make sense of this most complex of policy environments.
NCVYS continues to submit consultation responses in order to inform and influence policy that impacts on young people and the voluntary sector at a local, regional and national level. On behalf of Catalyst we submitted a response to the Cabinet Office's Red Tape Challenge theme on Civil Society - Social Investment. The response supports the paper Ten Reforms to Grow the Social Investment Market and calls for changes to the regulatory framework so that it is appropriate to the distinctive features of social investment in the youth sector. We responded to the Department of Health's consultation, Healthy Lives, Healthy People: Towards a workforce strategy for the public health system. We are concerned that there is limited reference as to how the voluntary sector’s inclusion, often enabling young people to make more informed decisions about their health, is to be realised or resourced. Our response to the Cabinet Office's Independent review into the barriers of public service choice focuses in particular on the impact of information, advice and intermediary support on young people's access to services. Our response to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs consultation on new Sustainable Development Indicators expresses concern that the new indicators do not give sufficient recognition of the importance of outcomes for children and young people for sustainable development. We also responded to the National Youth Agency's Second phase consultation regarding the setting up of the Institute for Youth Work. The response said that membership should be open to anyone working with young people, regardless of qualification, experience or their particular learning or career pathway. If you would like to inform NCVYS's responses, please contact Faiza Chaudary, Director of Policy and Communications: firstname.lastname@example.org
Briefing papers NCVYS has published a briefing on the Welfare Reform Act, including details of the terms of the new Universal Credit, which will replace many existing benefits. It also has information on the impact of the Act on the Housing Benefit system as well as other issues. Our Government Ministers briefing gives a full list of ministerial teams and portfolio responsibilities for the departments and ministers that are of most relevance to those working with children, young people and families and the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. We have also published a briefing on Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), which explores the forthcoming changes to police force structures and looks at the implications for the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector working with children, young people and families. The Safer Future Communities programme includes many other resources related to the PCCs. On behalf of the Department for Education’s Overarching Strategic Partnership, NCVYS also held a number of events to support those working in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector with children, young people and families. Their Generation looked at young people’s employability in the South West. Transforming Green Spaces: Transforming Young People's Lives was a joint conference with Catch22 and GreenSpace, the nation’s park’s charity, on the role of young people in designing and managing public spaces. Two events looked at the changing nature of local decision making and the impact this has on services for children, young people and their families. Notes and briefing papers from the events are available on the events section of our website. To find copies of our consultations, briefing and policy papers mentioned in this article, please take a look at the Influencing Policy pages of our website: http://www.ncvys.org.uk/influencing.html
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ENVOY Young Partners Award 2012 This year’s NCVYS Young Partners Award ceremony was held on Saturday 20 October at the Emirates Stadium in London. The ceremony awarded four youth organisations and projects for involving young people in the planning and decision-making processes of their work. Funded by BIG Lottery, the Young Partners Award celebrates and recognises collaboration between young people and adults, as well as the skills and experiences they can achieve through working together. With four different awards at stake, each category was strongly contested by three outstanding shortlisted organisations. However, following a rigorous and lengthy decision making process by NCVYS’s own panel of young experts, the four winning organisations were as follows: Hackney Empowering Active Team, South Winner
National winner – Leap Confronting Conflict Leap Confronting Conflict is a charity that manages and reduces youth conflict and violence. With over 25 years experience, Leap offers interactive accredited training and support to young people who are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET), excluded, or involved with gangs or anti-social behaviour. These young people often have chaotic lifestyles, lacking aspiration or opportunities out of poverty and social exclusion, and Leap gives them the chance to make positive life choices. They also train professionals that support these young people. Leap’s work is underpinned by qualifications and resources. Their exciting new Level 4 Certificate in Youth and Conflict, developed in partnership with Leeds Metropolitan University, gives professionals the skills to manage challenging situations with young people. This is the first qualification in youth work that includes a focus on conflict resolution – and will be delivered by Leap’s most experienced trainers. Starting in January 2013, this part-time course is essential for any practitioner who would like greater confidence when working with young people in difficult situations. www.leapcc.org.uk/certificate
Leap Confronting Conflict, National Winner
South winner – Hackney Empowering Active Team (HEAT) Established in 1988, Hackney Quest (HQ) is a registered charity, which plays a unique and key role in the local community by supporting young people and their families through positive, long-term support systems via a range of projects and programmes.
Since April 2009, Hackney Quest has run a youth participation and volunteering programme called Hackney Empowering Active Team (HEAT), a group of young people aged 14-25 who act as a youth committee and support the governance of Hackney Quests services. HEAT are responsible for fundraising, planning, budgeting, running and evaluating the positive activity programmes all year round which are accessed by 120 members. Members have the opportunity to become youth volunteers to support other young people within the HQ Activity Programme. They volunteer to support adult volunteer youth workers on activities and trips in order to improve youth engagement, learn further about the needs of the young people, as well as evaluate the activities. You can find out more about HEAT via the website http://www.hackneyquest.org.uk/
North winner – The FYI Board For Your Information, it means Fun Youth Involvement! Run by the charity Merseyside Youth Association (MYA), the FYI Board is a group of young people who help shape and inform the Liverpool Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). The purpose of the group is to ensure the voice of children and young people are heard in all aspects of CAMHS planning, delivery, and evaluation. By listening to the voice of children and young people, new ideas and actions can be taken to improve the services needed for mental health. The key aim is to raise awareness in young people and the wider public as to the availability of emotional health and wellbeing services in Liverpool. The Liverpool FYI website has been developed by Merseyside Youth Association in partnership with Liverpool FYI Board and Liverpool CAMHS in order to provide this information. The website exemplifies this action and shows how suggestions by young people can be taken on board, with work carried out by both young and old. The end product is a resource that will improve the accessibility of information about CAMHS and thus help far more young people in the region who need these services. www.liverpoolfyi.com
FYI Board, North Winner
Midlands winner – The Rural Youth Voice Project The Rural Youth Voice Project is a five-year, Big Lottery funded project, run by Voluntary Action South Leicestershire, in partnership with Enable Youth, a community group of young people, and Harborough District Council. The main aim of the Rural Youth Voice Project is really simple – to work across Harborough District to improve and increase youth participation practices. The two main areas of work are supporting young people to get their voices heard in order to influence local decision making and to support organisations to improve their youth participation practices. http://www.enableyouth.org.uk/
Rural Youth Voice Project, Midlands Winner
You can find out more information about the winners of the Young Partners Award and general information about the Awards themselves at: http://www.ncvys.org.uk/Young_Partners_Award.html 09
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ANGLING BECOMES UNLIMITED Since its small beginnings as a youth project in 2002 to help build a brighter future for young people, Get Hooked on Fishing Midlands has grown into a registered Charity and a Limited Company by Guarantee. Initially designed as a diversionary project for at-risk young people, the Charity now has a number of different programmes which use angling to help people. Doing so has led the group to re-launch under the registered trading name of Angling Unlimited. Angling Unlimited now acts as the umbrella body for the collection of various programmes. Its vision has always been to create opportunities for all, young and old, to receive a quality introduction to the sport of angling through structured pathways suited to their level of personal development that encourage continued participation and progression. It believes people should have the opportunity to experience and enjoy angling in a healthy competitive environment, be offered excellent teaching, coaching and resources to fulfil their angling potential. The Charity works in close partnership with other organisations to create quality educational programmes based on environmental, conservation and angling basics. Andy Walker, the Charity’s Managing Director, continues to be amazed at how angling can meet the many different needs of so many people no matter what the age or ability/disability. Angling Unlimited now has schemes such as an Angling Tuition programme catering for all young people who want to enjoy the sport of fishing, to an Open College Network programme that helps reconnect young people with education, working closely with School and College students at risk of underachieving. The charity has some excellent records of achievement, with a two year study of referred young people from West Midlands Police & Birmingham’s Youth Offending Service onto its diversionary Get Hooked on Fishing programme. The programme boasts a 98.5% non-reoffending success rate. A six week angling course provided for a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) for six young people also showed 100% attendance, something the PRU staff had never witnessed before with any other provision, and all six young people successfully re-integrated back into either mainstream school or colleges. Angling Unlimited also runs a unique activity called the Education Action Zone (EAZ), which it uses in Birmingham’s Schools to help children with
Young people showing off their catches!
numeracy, working closely with Teachers and assisting parents to engage in their child’s learning. They also run a number of after school Fishing Clubs in Birmingham’s inner city schools, reaching young people from BME groups who have never had the opportunity of experience fishing before.
Angling is the most popular participation sport and is a totally inclusive activity Andy Walker says, “Angling is the most popular participation sport and is a totally inclusive activity, tackling discrimination issues due to gender, race, age, athletic ability, health and disability. Many people would try fishing if they had someone to go with, had somewhere they could fish and if they could borrow or hire fishing gear and that’s exactly what we provide.” He adds, “We have found that fishing is a calming, therapeutic activity, particularly beneficial to sufferers of attention deficit disorder, dyslexia, dyspraxia, autism, and aspergers syndrome.” Carl Dudley lost his sight at the age of 17yrs due to a condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa. He also suffers from ankylosing spondylitis an arthritic spine condition which greatly inhibits his mobility and means he spends most of his time in a wheelchair. Carl says: “I’m really enjoying going fishing. I’m catching loads of fish and getting to know the different species of fish I catch by how they feel – the Perch feel very rough. I’m also getting out more that I was before and making new friends, it’s brilliant.” Lloyd Garrick, a young member of the Junior Fly fishing Club, was recently ‘talent spotted’ by the Angling Development Boards Regional Coaching
Team who are training him to be part of their Regional Youth Fly Fishing team. Lloyd, who is just 15-years-old, comes from a single parent family living in one of the poorer areas of Birmingham. Angling Unlimited has since managed to secure Lloyd some sponsorship by way of fly gear from tackle firm Fladen Tackle. Andy Walker adds, “The fishing trips help participants regain self-confidence while also aiding physical and mental recovery by supporting their cognitive ability providing stimulus. This all helps to assist them in staying active and promotes well-being. “The demand for this and other services continues to grow. Our schemes have made a huge difference to so many people who are at risk of social exclusion and have helped them to again become part of community life. All of our programmes are reliant of grants & donations, as we either provide our service at very low cost or for free, so any support for our services is very much appreciated.” The Charity is also helping unemployed adults acquire new employable skills and qualifications with their NVQ Sports coaching courses and volunteers training programme. Even though the economic climate is proving hard for Angling Unlimited, the future is looking good. To find out more about Angling Unlimited please visit http://www.anglingunlimited.org.uk/
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YOUTH IN ACTION – WEST SUSSEX the quality of their recruitment and induction process, the local mentoring support they receive from staff on the ground, the suitability of placement and how well it matches their needs, and the reward and accreditation offered. Outset believes that the only way to truly meet young people’s needs to have continuous process of feedback and consultation.
“Volunteering was the spark that showed me what I wanted to do with my life, boosted my confidence and led to where I am today. It also made me understand that the value of work isn’t just money, but doing something worthwhile that you enjoy. I love my job and the way my life has progressed, and this can all be traced back to my first meeting with Outset. I am beyond grateful to Outset for giving me a direction in life.” Outset Volunteer 2011
Outset Youth Action Volunteers at a celebration event - awards were presented by the then Mayor of East Grinstead, Rob Saul
Each year over 1,400 Young people in West Sussex volunteer for the benefit of their local communities. Outset Youth Action (OYA) is a youth volunteering organisation that operates across the whole county of West Sussex. Outset has worked with young people for over 35 years recruiting and supporting them to volunteer for their local community. Outset provides a staff team of Youth Volunteer Co-ordinators who work closely with all schools/ colleges, youth, housing and employment services, to motivate and inspire young people to volunteer. They carry out motivational talks and give presentations to years 9-11, followed up by school drop/ surgery type sessions during lunch breaks. They provide workshops within Careers and Personal , Social and Health Education linking volunteering and active citizenship.
“I was 16 when I first volunteered. It changed my life. I cannot imagine how my life would be now, had I not made the decision to volunteer all those years ago. What I have got back from volunteering is far more precious than any of the time and efforts that I have put in and at times I wonder who gains more from my voluntary work, those I help or myself. I cannot stress enough how important and worthwhile I think volunteering is and how glad I am that I made that choice in my life.” Outset volunteer
Local community placements are set up and appraised by the Outset Team and then matched to the skills, interests and aspirations of young people. Those who volunteer are from a wide range of backgrounds and what they choose to be involved in with Outset often depends on their need to develop particular skills: some try out options for future careers, gaining experience whilst looking for work or training; some fulfil Gap years in education, maintaining work skills whilst raising a family, working towards Duke of Edinburgh Awards, while others simply want to have fun and meet new people. Outset volunteers work in all sections of the community, assisting the elderly, supporting individuals with additional needs, child care groups, infant, primary and secondary schools, hospitals, hospices, nursing homes and day centres. Outset Volunteers work on conservation and gardening projects, with animals and in museums and historic places, all to benefit the local community.
“I would like to express my extreme thanks and appreciation to Outset for assisting me to provide volunteers on Horizon Unit at Horsham Hospital. We work together and the volunteers are a valuable part of our ward team; not only is it good to involve young people within a hospital setting for their own development, it is welcomed by the older population within our wards.”
Outset Volunteer Sophie Tremain, from West Sussex, fundraising for the local hospital
Outset has tried many approaches to consulting young people; involvement in Committees, questionnaires, focus groups, Youth Action Teams etc. Currently the most success has come from the use of Facebook and Twitter where young people can contribute immediately to discussion themes in a way that totally fits their lifestyle. Outset is also in the process of setting up an Online Youth Advisory Group to enable large numbers of young people to dip in and out of discussion points concerning the future direction of volunteering in West Sussex. For more information on Outset Youth please visit our website: http://www.outsetyouth.org.uk/
Dawn Fincham, Ward Manager, Horizon Unit, Horsham Hospital
Over the years Outset has secured contracts and delivered various national youth volunteering programmes as Millennium Volunteers and Vinspired. Outset firmly believe that young people’s involvement and commitment to volunteering will depend upon
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CONNECTIONS Tweeting Up Appearances: youth work and social media. Written by Vicky Caswell
Vicky is a National ENVOY Member for the East Of England, and currently studies Social Science at the University Of Lincoln, and has too much experience of sitting on Twitter (...and Tumblr and Facebook)!
Some tips on how to use Twitter: • ‘Google before you tweet’ is the new ‘think before you speak’. Making sure web addresses are correct before posting, particularly on Twitter, is really important. • Don't be patronising – if a person is following you they are probably interested in your work, and if people want to know more they can gain access to your site through your Twitter or Facebook page: tweet what your organisation has been doing, and don’t get stuck continually explaining who you are and why you exist! • Tweet tweeters like you want to be tweeted – a starting suggestion would be to tweet three times a day, making sure to use hashtags i.e. #charities, which will allow you to find organisations similar to yours. If you want to share something, retweet it.
Youth Work and social media has a growing but tense relationship; as youth work adapts to the ways in which young people communicate, increasing issues around privacy sometimes make social media a difficult platform for youth workers to correctly engage with. However, when youth workers invest time in social media, it can make a real difference to the organisation and create a better link between a young person and services. Youth work and social media has come pretty far over the last few years. The rise of Facebook and other social media sites such as Twitter and Tumblr have made it easier than ever to access thousands of young people and focus on a specific geographical area. You can also target specific age groups, making it easier to advertise services to any demographic. Social media and youth work have certainly changed, not just through PCs, but through smart-phones too, connecting young people and organisations like never before. This connection and quality of contact should not be underestimated. However, not everyone seems to be in a position to maintain this key function. Many counties have great practice to share around Social Media, but due to financial cuts over the last two years, many councils have been unable to continue their online work, even though it’s the most cost effective way to communicate and consult with young people; be it through online surveys, Facebook and other social media sites, and to a certain extent email. Most youth organisations now have a strong online social media presence, gaining new followers, though given the number of social media options you have to be really careful to keep them up-to-date. Facebook pages are notorious for being left dormant for long periods as charities forget to regularly update them, sometimes even forgetting their page exists! People like to have access to information in one easy-to-find place, so investing more time in maintaining a page is invaluable, and can increase your outreach to stakeholders. Doing so is increasingly necessary, especially when times are financially tough, and only getting tougher. Allowing more people to know what you do and who you are is key to being able to increase funding and gain support, while also letting your supporters know what you're up to as an organisation. This is relevant across all social media, including Twitter: you need to update! Twitter is an amazing tool for gaining access to the public, but also for reaching local and national media, councils and MP's who are also on Twitter - even David Cameron has a Twitter account now!
Useful Links: • A great explanation for any organisation to get started on Twitter: http://bit.ly/CharityTwitterGuide • Advice from organisations who use social media: http://bit.ly/CharityAdvice • Guide to social media for charities: http://bit.ly/SocmedGuide
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IDEAS BANK A NCVYS initiative As an umbrella organisation the fundamental purpose of our existence is to support our membership to work with young people in the very best way possible. That support manifests itself in a number of different ways, not least through initiatives run by the NCVYS Service Development team, who work to provide opportunities for organisations to strengthen and sustain their business models. One of those initiatives is yeah CIC. We talk a lot about the benefits of sharing best practice, not least because it makes an idea stronger, so the systematic distribution of best practice models would be the natural next step; using that model as a way of generating revenue sits right alongside. At NCVYS we have tried to put this method into practice by setting up yeah CIC as a vehicle for member organisations to explore the opportunities it presents. It has not been an easy task though. In talking about replication, we have found that there are still way too many organisations trying to re-invent the wheel. There could be an easy answer to this: needs in one area may well be so diversely different from those in another, that replicating one model from one area to another simply isn’t viable. What can’t be afforded right now though, is too much protectionism. Because, something else is for certain: public funding is drying up so the sector either needs to find ways of generating its own income or needs to get a lot more efficient if it wants to continue having a positive impact on the lives of young people. That does not have to mean starting from scratch with a heap of new ideas; it could just be a case of valuing what you do already. Think about it: in the sciences, the mark of good quality, reliable research is that it can easily be replicated by someone else and still have the same outcome. So, if an organisation is delivering services to young people and can already demonstrate a positive impact on their lives in one area, then chances are the same can be done elsewhere.
“Nearly every problem has been solved by someone, somewhere. The frustration is that we can’t seem to replicate (those solutions) anywhere else.”
Above and below: yeah CIC Board meeting
– Bill Clinton
If we go by that, yeah CIC makes absolute sense: firstly, if you are an organisation looking to generate some extra income and have a proven delivery model then yeah can help you with the process of licensing or franchising it to others – yeah takes the hassle out of the business while you get on with the nuts and bolts of working with young people. Or flip that over: if you’re an organisation looking to work with young people and don’t know where to start, then there is a pretty high chance someone else is doing what you want to do and would be prepared to sell you a licence at the very least. Engaging yeah to broker that licence, is a lot more cost-effective than putting time and resources into developing something yourself. You also have the added assurance of knowing that a model that is proven to have worked somewhere else will already have gone through a process of quality control. For more information, please visit www.ncvys.org.uk/yeah_CIC or email us at email@example.com Beth Parker, Director of Service Development, NCVYS 13
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ANNE FRANK TRUST “It seems to me that later on neither I nor anyone else will be interested in the musings of a thirteen-year old school girl” – The words written by a young girl in her diary in 1942, a diary that is now read across the globe and by generations. Meet the young ambassadors who are using the power of Anne Frank’s story to fight prejudice in their communities.
Our London Ambassadors at a training day, Emirates Stadium
• Read The Diary of Anne Frank. • Think about what you could do to make a difference in your local community • Go to our website to sign the Anne Frank Declaration • Visit an exhibition near you. We also run educational projects in schools • Are you a teacher? Visit our website for our range of resources and education links • Will you or someone you know be 13 during 2013? Follow the campaign at www.13in13.org.uk
Every year our Anne Frank Ambassadors from around the UK help to inspire others to challenge prejudice in their own communities, by explaining to their peers and local primary school pupils about what happened to Anne. Starting as exhibition guides for their school, ambassadors go on to attend two action-packed days of training, preparing to take what they have learned and share it with primary schools in their area. For London ambassadors, this involves a day at the Imperial War Museum in Lambeth developing their knowledge of Anne Frank and the Holocaust. This is followed by a trip to the Emirates Stadium, home of Arsenal football club, to get started on their presentations. Together with schools across Britain, ranging from Norwich to Glasgow, from Blackpool to Newcastle, this important challenge is regularly taken up by students at Stockwell Park School in London. One ambassador, Shanae, started as a guide at her school exhibition in 2011. She recalls that “The Anne Frank Trust has inspired me to study history further at college. It is through learning about Anne Frank and the Holocaust that I can appreciate the importance of world history, as I do think that what has taken place in the past has a big impact on actions and events in current society.” Shanae and her classmate, Melissa, proved to be such dedicated Anne Frank Ambassadors that they now help to mentor our latest teams of Ambassadors at the school. Our Ambassadors from Stockwell Park in 2012 were rewarded with a visit to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam in recognition of their hard work throughout the year. As Karis explains, “Being able to be where she was living before the secret annexe and to walk around were she was playing just made my mind clearer about the story. We really got a taste of her life, meaning we can teach people from our experiences of being there and our enhanced knowledge.” 14
• Get involved – social media is one of the best ways for different organisations to share their goals and ideals
Following her trip to Amsterdam, we were delighted that Karis spent two weeks working at our head office in London as part of her school work experience programme, an experience that she hopes to build on in the future; “I would love to continue volunteering (if possible) with the Anne Frank Trust or even come in as an intern some day”. Karis was a fantastic addition to the team and is just one example of the many passionate and enthusiastic Anne Frank Ambassadors to be found across the UK.
What can I do … ? In 2013, we are launching ‘Thirteen in 13’, a nationwide online journal writing campaign for 13 year olds. From friends and school, to the experiences of growing up, we are inviting all 13 year olds to write about what matters to them and what they think about the world around them. Whatever you do, we invite you to join us in embracing responsibility and respect. In Anne’s words, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world”.
Our top tips for you today
• Social media is also a great resource for educational events: use it to get inspired whether you a teacher, student, or run an organisation • You can also follow us on: Twitter @AnneFrankTrust Facebook /AnneFrankTrust Pinterest /AnneFrankTrust
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“If you Treasure it, ‘Measure it” Gus O’Donnell, former head of the Civil Service, on the Office for National Statistics work to measure adult well-being in 2011. New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) exists to make charities (and funders) more successful in achieving their goals. We find solutions to the challenges they face, whether they are trying to work more effectively, explore new ways of working, or prove their worth. All our advice is backed up by ten years of research, and draws on our think tank work to transform the charity sector. As part of our job we do a lot of measuring, but how do we know what to measure? One of the questions we ask charities is ’what is important’ to them. By defining outcomes that really matter, we can help determine the steps to reach them, as well as how to measure progress towards their aims.
“We are very excited about the results we've had. It will make a real difference to how we communicate the impact of our work to funders and schools, and help us develop our courses with young people in the future.” Emma Ferris, Head of Impact Evaluation, The Outward Bound Trust
So why is well-being important? For organisations who work with children and young people, we think well-being is a very valuable dimension to measure. Activities and interventions with young people, from sport or theatre to volunteering or mentoring, are underpinned by the aim to build young people’s self-esteem, or their resilience. It’s these qualities which will prepare them for life as adults and help them to grasp opportunities in the future. ‘Hard’ measures, such as exam results or re-offending rates may not be relevant to particular groups, or may not be sensitive enough to capture the difference you’re making over the months that you’re working with a particular group.
Readers of Exchange will be familiar with the Framework of Outcomes for Young People which was published in July and tackles some of these questions around what outcomes are important for young people. It starts to look at how we can measure these and includes a digest of some of the research which show links between young people’s well-being, and longer term positive behaviours.
If you can see the value of measuring an outcome like well-being but aren’t sure yet how to get started, here are some tips for choosing the right measure:
However, subjective well-being is multi-dimensional. If you ask just one question, like ‘How happy are you with your life today?’, then the responses aren’t very subtle and you miss the opportunity to understand more about how young people are feeling. So how can we measure well-being meaningfully?
2. Keep it simple. Concentrate on what you really want to know and don’t try to be too ambitious. Measure the easy things first.
To answer this, NPC took some of the thinking done with individual charities, added insights from an extensive survey of academic research, and identified eight dimensions of well-being as most useful to a wide range of services for young people. This resulted in the creation of NPC’s Well-being Measure, an online survey tool which tracks changes in the subjective well-being of 11-16-year-olds.
1. Decide what’s important. Define your research question and be clear what you want to achieve.
3. Know your limits. Choose an approach that matches your resources, including expertise in measurement and data. 4. Have an open mind. Research is intended to tell you what you don’t already know, so you may find things that surprise you.
What can we learn from measuring well-being? We’ve met nearly 200 organisations who work with children and young people at workshops since the start of this year and they have all identified well-being as something they’d like to measure. We ask everyone: ‘How will measuring well-being help your organisation?’ The first answers people think of are connected with funding, then, many more ideas surface about learning what works and understanding young people better. This tallies with a survey of 1,000 charities which NPC reported in October where most organizations say the initial driver for measuring impact was funding, but the main benefits were in improving the services they offer. So how does this work in practice? The benefits are illustrated by two organisations who have used NPC’s Well-being Measure as part of their evaluation. Toynbee Hall is a community organisation in East London. Its flagship Aspire Project works with schools to give young people the chance to take part in activities aiming to build their confidence and express themselves in more positive ways. Toynbee Hall used the Well-being Measure, to track 80 young people. They surveyed them at the beginning, and then carried out a further two follow up surveys; one half-way through and another at the end of the project. Initially they saw significant improvements in how young people felt about their school and community, then at the second follow-up there were additional improvements in resilience and life satisfaction. Results provided strong evidence of the project’s impact on young people’s lives.
Useful links: • Well-being Measure: http://www.well-beingmeasure.com/about • NPC resources: http://www.thinknpc.org/publications/ • NPC transforming the sector info: http://www.thinknpc.org/our-work/ transforming-the-sector/ • Framework of Outcomes for Young People: http://youngfoundation.org/publications/ framework-of-outcomes-for-young-people/ • Making an Impact – recent Impact survey of 1,000 charities: http://www.thinknpc.org/publications/maki ng-an-impact/
Contact details: Catherine.boulton@thinkNPC.org Find out about NPC’s Well-being workshops here: http://www.well-beingmeasure.com/events
Maria Stephens, Aspire’s Project Leader, said, “Using NPC’s wellbeing survey has helped us to improve the richness and depth of our data, enabling us to show funders, project partners and participants the impact of our work more clearly.”
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CASE STUDY Reading Young Commissioners Project In early 2011, a range of staff at Reading Borough Council realised that there was potential to hand over some of the responsibility for commissioning services to young people, therefore giving them responsibility, real power and influence, hopefully resulting in better services. The result was the Reading Young Commissioners. Supported by the Participation Team, and working in partnership with the Childrens Commissioning Team, the aim of the project is to ensure that service-user involvement is built into the commissioning process and is real. By doing this, we aim to ensure that services commissioned better meet the needs of young people, and therefore deliver a better service. The Young Commissioners are a group of six young people, aged 14-18, and from all over Reading. Each young commissioner shadows an ‘adult’ Commissioner and leads on whatever that member of staff is working on. What actually happens depends on what is being commissioned, but includes consultation work with other young people, helping to write specifications, participating in the tendering and interview process, and undertaking research projects. How Reading has approached this work, in partnership with the Young Commissioners, is very innovative. In a world frequently tied up in rules and regulations, for the commissioning team to take the bold step of handing over power and responsibility to a group of young people, was ground-breaking, evidencing the culture of genuine service-user involvement which exists in Reading. The great challenge has been to balance the work of the YCs against the home- and school- commitments; this has been overcome by arranging mutuallyconvenient meetings, and adopting a flexible approach to scheduling projects. The “shadowing” process described above also enables ongoing communication between staff and young commissioners. Developing a reward and recognition system – based around ideas of the Young Commissioners themselves – has ensured continual engagement and high levels of motivation.
stage, they formed their own, separate, interview panel, and interviewed each of the 3 organisations in the running. Their input counted for 5% of the total score, in addition to their power of veto (if they had felt an organisation didn’t fit the minimum criteria, they could veto them, and remove them from the running all-together). They have since worked closely with the selected organisation, helping them to choose a new name for instance, and sit on the regular advisory group panel. This has ensured that the selected organisation maintains a young person-friendly approach to their work, which is reflected in their awareness raising activity and service user engagement levels. This impact has been repeated several times over in similar tendering exercises. The YCs have also undertaken their own pieces of research, making recommendations to services or boards as to how they can work better for young people in Reading. This has included research on how young people should be recognised for the contribution they make to society, which was presented back to the Reading Local Strategic Partnership, and which has influenced the Sustainable Community Strategy.
The impact of their work has been huge. One recent example was the commissioning of a YouthCounselling service. The Young Commissioners were involved in preparing the tender and specification, working closely with the Commissioner leading on it. During the interview
Other projects include: assisting in the interviewing & recruitment of Commissioning staff (where their scoring counted for 40% of the applicants’ scores); assisting in monitoring the performance of services that support young people; reviewing service user satisfaction with an Information service (together with writing recommendations for service improvements); completing needs analyses on some of Reading’s harder-to-reach groups; and contributing to specifications for other young people-focused services.
The extent of the group’s influence is easy to measure; in addition to the evidence presented above, the Childrens Commissioning Team itself has been given a “Green” rating for their ability to extend voice, influence and participation to Reading’s Young People (in a “Red, Amber, Green” rating system.) In addition, all of the YCs are working towards accreditations, and two have already achieved Platinum Youth Achievement Awards. This has assisted their university applications and employability. Revealingly though, the Young Commissioners themselves have stated that the experience of having made a difference to people’s lives and contributed to something meaningful was the biggest reward for them. Michael Beakhouse, Children’s Commissioning Officer http://www.reading.gov.uk/
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WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT Gethyn Williams, NCVYS Director of Workforce Development
Six Million reasons to invest in your workforce
NCVYS’s new initiative aims to revolutionise workforce development, by giving our members the tools and confidence to invest in their paid staff and volunteers. This October NCVYS submitted an application to the Growth and Innovation Fund (GIF) in support of our new project Six Million Strong – a direct evolution from our Progress and Catalyst consortium workforce initiatives of recent years. Our most ambitious plan yet, Six Million Strong is for voluntary youth organisations and their staff and volunteer workforces. As an infrastructure project it doesn’t directly fund training – but it does create the support and space needed to help organisations innovate and invest in their workforce – putting the youth sector ‘employer’ firmly in control of these decisions.
Employers in control? Surprisingly it hasn’t always been like this. In previous eras government and others exercised much more influence over standards in training and development. This meant that although there was usually funding available for specified training, such training might not always have been what employers wanted, or would have funded themselves given the choice. Our employers therefore were not always empowered to lead on the development of their own staff and volunteers. In Six Million Strong however, we argue this is exactly what’s needed to ensure our workforce continues to be appropriately skilled to meet the needs of young people, to help our organisations manage change and to acquire the skills base needed to take advantage of future opportunities.
Learners on the Level 2 Award and Certificate in Working with Young People
how well we do the ‘four Rs’ – recruitment, retention, recognition and reward. Six Million Strong will do a number of things to improve on current practice in these areas. Firstly we will add to our evolving Youth Sector Pathways website, making it easier to advertise and search for volunteer roles; secondly we will create up to 50 Training Innovation Partnerships (TIPs) – space for employers to collaborate and find solutions to workforce issues they have in common; and finally we will develop a new Youth Leader Card for volunteers – recognising their achievement, celebrating their contribution and providing a platform for incentive and rewards.
Our partners Investing in young volunteers pays As the vast majority of our six million workforce are unpaid and young (or thereabouts), the project has a natural focus on young volunteers. By investing in great packages of accredited training and development, we have an opportunity to address a common workforce issue (how to increase our productivity in challenging times) and boost young people’s employability prospects, under one innovative project. We think that creating productive, lasting and mutually-rewarding volunteering roles depends on
We have a fantastic range of partners lined up to help us develop these proposals, ensuring we don’t duplicate and that as a national project we complement rather than compete with local schemes – especially around rewarding volunteers. Nineteen NCVYS members have already come forward to work with us as Volunteer Investor Partners (VIPs) – employers who want to understand more about how to improve their investment in volunteers by testing our proposals. Between them these VIPs engaged 25,000 volunteers this year spending around £1.3m in the process.
Further opportunities to get involved as TIPs and VIPs will be announced if our application is successful, but whatever your level of engagement, the structures and learning we create can benefit the whole of the youth sector for years to come. No matter what you want to do for young people, a strong workforce is fundamental. Not investing is not an option, but Six Million Strong will help you make a step change in how you plan and invest for the future. Gethyn Williams, Director of Strategic Development
Postscript: about Six Million Strong The project is a £4.3m investment over two and a half years - £2m from government and the rest as co-investment from our partners in and beyond the voluntary youth sector. The GIF is administered by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), working on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). We will hear if our application has been successful by December, and if so we would hope to start early in 2013. For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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MEET THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE An interview with Rosie Ferguson, Chief Executive for London Youth Getting Ready statistics: • 701 youth workers and young leaders have gained National Governing Body coaching qualifications • Three years into the programme, there continues to be a 40% increase in the number of ‘non-sporty’ young people taking part in sport in Getting Ready youth clubs • To date, 93 young leaders have gained paid coaching experience as a result of training they received through Getting Ready, progressing them into sports careers and providing sporting role models in their communities NCVYS ENVOY member Rahul meets London Youth CEO Rosie Ferguson
London Youth is a network or 400 youth clubs across London and has been around since 1885; they work with young people in their communities. How did you start out in the youth sector? I was involved in helping to set up my local youth council at the age of 15 in Crewe. I’d always been very passionate about young people having a voice and being involved in decision making, so I studied Media at University. However, I then looked at what I wanted to do for a job, I was doing lots of volunteering and activities related to developing leadership skills in young people and that was exactly what I was passionate about. So essentially, I started off delivering youth leadership programmes to young people and I was quite young myself trying to develop leadership skills in young people and then I’ve progressed from there. What makes London Youth unique? We are a network of 400 community based youth clubs across London and all of those are diverse in what they do and the way they work with young people. Our role is to strengthen that network to help them increase their impact on the 75,000 young people they reach every year. So the more we can strengthen, quality assure and develop the staffing within those, the more impact we will have on young people. 18
Where do you see the youth sector in five years?
What projects or programmes is London Youth working on at the moment?
I think it needs to continue to be more interconnected and increasingly working in partnership. It also needs to be more focussed on longer term outcomes and goals for young people developed as the all-round ability to succeed, rather than focussing on specific interventions like teenage pregnancies or drugs. We need to be more about developing young people holistically and I think employability and the ability to get into work should be woven into everything, as well as there being employability programmes. I hope that in five years the sector is flourishing and well resourced; but in order to get to this point I think the sector needs to make more of a noise about why what we do is so important.
One of our programmes is called ‘getting ready for the games’. Over the last three years we’ve supported 5,782 young people who were previously not playing sports, to regularly take part in a sport within their local youth club and for the majority to sustain their participation. 93 of those young people have made it into paid sports coaching opportunities as a result. We deliver this programme through our members, training young people in our member youth clubs to develop coaching skills themselves, training peers and supporting other young people into sports.
So what is the biggest issue that young people face? I’ve spent a lot of time over the last six months talking to young people and to our members, and the biggest issue that young people consistently raise are their concerns about employment and their ability to find jobs; particularly if they are starting off with little or no qualifications and a perception that they are at a disadvantage. I think this can tempt a lot of young people into crime or violence. Another primary concern of many young people is one of safety. In specific areas of London this is a central issue while for other young people it’s not so much of a problem. However, I’d say at the moment, employment is the key issue.
What’s your passion for wanting to work with young people? I really believe that young people who have had opportunities to take on leadership roles and develop themselves to have relationships with adults and other young people outside of the school environment and outside of their families, really gives them a chance to develop their own identities and their passion for their future. London Youth • For more information visit the London Youth website: http://www.londonyouth.org.uk/
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HEADS UP Do you have news for our readers? Exchange is distributed across the voluntary and community youth sector, going to Chief Executives, Parliamentarians and Civil Servants. We’re always interested in news, articles and case studies in best practice from our members. If you have a story to tell, please contact the editor: E: email@example.com
NCVYS Annual Review The 2011 – 2012 NCVYS annual review is now out – we’ll be sending a copy to each one of our members, however if you are not a NCVYS member but would like a copy sent to you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. The review will also soon be available online at http://www.ncvys.org.uk/Publications.html Entitled ‘A Positive Year’, the review outlines some of our main achievements between April 2011 and March 2012, as well as profiling a selection of our members.
New Young Facilitators With the recruitment phase for our Young Facilitator roles recently concluding, we will soon be in a position to reveal those appointed to the posts. This is always an exciting time for NCVYS, as well as for the young people who have been successful in their applications. Keep an eye on the NCVYS ENVOY portal for more news http://www.ncvysenvoy.co.uk/
The front cover for this issue was designed by Ria Dastidar, uberpup uberpup aka Ria, lives and works in London. Uberpup produces work for illustration, graphic, surface and character design. The work is infused with colour and a love of pop culture. Ria enjoys creating editorial illustrations through collage textures and colour. It frees her to explore interesting concepts visually while keeping to deadlines. Her influences for collage are Peter Blake, Terry Gilliam's animations and Genevieve Gauckler. About the design Ria said: “The cover theme was a great opportunity to use collage to demonstrate the national and local network operated by NCVYS. Using the idea of the umbrella and multiple hands was an ideal way to depict the aims of the NCVYS community for their members.” Uberpup’s portfolio can be found at http://www.uberpup.net/portfolio.php You can contact Ria via email: email@example.com
Exchange now online NCVYS Strategy With the previous NCVYS strategy running from 2009 – 2012, we have developed our new organisational strategy to run from 2012 – 2015. The vision was developed in consultation with youth organisations from NCVYS’s membership and takes account of feedback received from a broad range of stakeholders. Further details, in particular a Strategy summary document, will be released shortly.
Keep up to date with NCVYS’s information and policy services NCVYS publishes a range of policy and information services through a number of channels. You can follow us on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ncvys, watch videos from our events like the annual conference at http://www.youtube.com/ncvys and listen to audio interviews at http://www,audioboo.fm/ncvys We continue to provide our weekly Strategic Intelligence Service bulletin every Friday afternoon and our NECTAR update at the start of each month. In addition, our policy team regularly updates our funding blog with news of grants and service cuts. Take a look at http://www.ncvyspolicy.wordpress.com to find out more.
NCVYS publishes an online version of Exchange magazine, aimed at readers in the voluntary and community youth sector. Readers can view previous issues for free by visiting the link below. NCVYS will still continue to print and distribute issues of Exchange, which members receive free as part of their membership to our network. See www.issuu.com/ncvys Exchange distribution Exchange is read across the voluntary and community youth sector. We can send bulk copies to offices requiring 10 copies or more. If you or a colleague is receiving Exchange and would like us to stop sending copies, please email Rob Candy, Exchange Editor at E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Last but not least, all our news, policy and information documents go up on the website at www.ncvys.org.uk. Check back regularly to see updates about our work.
Feedback and contributions If you have any publications, events, training or projects that you would like to be featured in Exchange or would like to send in letters, comments or ideas for future articles, please contact Rob Candy, Exchange Editor on: E: email@example.com
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Cover illustration by: Ria Dastidar; uberpup firstname.lastname@example.org
Exchange is a regular magazine, bringing together a unique collection of news, policy analysis and practical advice for voluntary and community organisations and networks working with young people. Exchange contains articles by expert contributors from the sector and beyond. The magazine is distributed throughout the youth sector, reaching around 5000 readers in print and offline. Designed/produced by arc. www.arc-cs.com
If you would like to promote your work in Exchange, please email news and press releases to: email@example.com or contact Rob Candy, Editor on: 020 7843 6471
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If you would like to advertise in Exchange, or find out more about subscriptions please email your requests to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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