To date the Education Bill establishing ESA has still to be agreed by the Assembly and it must be questioned when the Authority will be up and running. The year has seen DE engage with the sector around a range of issues that will impact upon ESAâ€™s delivery of youth services in the future and Youthnet carried out extensive consultations with our members on behalf of DE to inform the development of new Priorities for Youth Work. We also engaged with DE on discussions around how the voluntary youth sector would be represented in any new arrangements. We are currently undertaking a consultation process to identify how all elements of the voluntary youth sector can be represented on the emerging policy and operational forums which are being created by DE and ESA. Youthnet has also worked with our partners in the Youth Council for Northern Ireland, the Education and Library Boards and the Northern Ireland Youth Forum in the development of a set of papers which will seek to influence the policy framework for the youth sector. These have been well received by DE.
In our last report we commented on the work of the Department of Education (DE) and Education and Skills Authority Implementation Team (ESAIT) regarding their ongoing work in developing the new organisation. It is with some concern that a year later there is still a lack of clarity in relation to how youth work will be embedded into the new Authority and the potential nature of the relationships with the voluntary youth sector.
As a direct result of our membership conference, the University of Ulster has been commissioned to do further work with the membership in developing their views on how best to represent the voluntary youth sector in the new educational structures and what role the sector has to play in providing support and capacity building at local level. A position paper setting out proposals for the future engagement of the voluntary youth sector with ESA will be presented at this yearâ€™s conference. It will also seek to articulate the sectorâ€™s views on how best to support the voluntary youth sector, where this support should come from and the potential resource implications. Finally, as this is my last reflection about the sector, I would like to say how much I have enjoyed being the Chair of Youthnet and being involved in the sector. I would like to convey my thanks to those who have served on the Executive Committee during this period and particularly Claire Flowers who has served as Vice Chair for the last two years. I would also like to acknowledge and thank all the staff for their support over the last four years. Youthnet is a great organisation, well run and deservedly respected. It was my first foray into the voluntary sector after retirement and I could not have asked for a better organisation to chair. I wish the incoming Chair every success in their new role. I have no doubt that this comes at a very challenging time as ESA establishes its relationships with the voluntary youth sector but the sector is strong and continues a vital service to the whole community of Northern Ireland. You all have my best wishes.
Executive Committee Report The Directors The Directors who served the charity during the period 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2009, were:
Vice Chairperson Girlguiding Ulster
Honorary Treasurer Stephen Dowie
Executive Committee Members Brenda YouthLink McGrann Catholic Guides Maeve Heaney of Ireland Thomas Quigley R.N.I.B. Stephen National Council Turner of YMCA’s of Ireland John Scout Meikleham Foundation NI Elizabeth YouthAction NI McArdle Face Inclusion Edel Campbell Matters Bob Belfast Islamic Adams Centre Paul Public Achievement Smyth
Company Secretary Denis Palmer Charity registration number: Company registration number:
Professional Advisors Solicitors McKinty Wright, Eagle Star House, 5-7, Upper Queen’s Street, Belfast BT1 6FS
Auditors Fitch Audit Limited, 27-29 Gordon Street, Belfast, BT1 2LG
Bankers Ulster Bank, 161-163 Upper Lisburn Road, Finaghy, Belfast, BT10 OLJ
EXECUTIVE COMITTEE REPORT
Northern Ireland Youth Forum
Carmel McCavana Gillian McClay
Executive Committee Report The Youthnet Executive Committee (who are the named Directors, for the purposes of the Companies Act) have pleasure presenting their report and financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2009. This report is prepared in accordance with the Memorandum and Articles of Association and the Statement of Recommended Practice - Accounting and Reporting by Charities.
Constitution and Principal Activities The company is incorporated under the Companies (Northern Ireland) Order 1986, being a company limited by guarantee not having a share capital. The company is governed by its Memorandum and Articles of Association since its incorporation on 13 October 1983. Youthnet is also a charity and has been formally admitted by the Inland Revenue, as such, for income tax purposes.
Youthnet is a strategic network of Voluntary Youth Organisations. It exists to work with and advocate on behalf of its membership, to represent, support and develop their interests and aspirations and to promote the independent voice of the voluntary youth sector. The Youthnet membership covers a wide range of organisations working with children and young people, from long established organisations through to newly emerged organisations. Member organisations work with a diverse range of young people and vary in size, structure and capacity. Under Peace III, the Youth Education Social Inclusion Partnership (YESIP) has developed a ‘Young People Building Positive Relations’ project involving ten delivery partners, five partners from within the Statutory Youth Sector and five from the Voluntary Youth sector. Youthnet is the lead agency for the Voluntary Youth Sector. Youthnet is also currently the Northern Ireland Award Partner for the Big Lottery Children and Young People’s Fund, responsible for
managing The Big Deal. Youthnet is the lead body in delivery of The Big Deal Programme and it acts on behalf of the following Youth Service Liaison Forum stakeholders: Education and Library Boards; Youth Council for Northern Ireland; Northern Ireland Youth Forum; and Youthnet. The Big Deal is a £4.5million initiative which includes a £1.5million grantgiving programme for children and young people aged 0-25 administered directly by Youthnet and a £3million strategic programme. The strategic programme is delivered through a Participation Hub comprising PlayBoard, the Northern Ireland Youth Forum; and the Education and Library Boards.
Management structure Youthnet is managed by an Executive Committee. In addition three Honorary Office Bearers are elected to serve on the Committee: these being a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and Honorary Treasurer. All the Executive Committee members have been registered as Company Directors. The Charity Director, Denis Palmer, manages the day to day running of the organisation.
Appointment of Board Members Executive Committee members and Youthnet Honorary Officers are nominated by respective member organisations and duly elected by Youthnet at its Annual General Meeting. Committee members are appointed for a period of three years. Executive Committee members elected to an Honorary Officers post may extend their tenure to a maximum of six years.
Financial Results The results for the year are set out in Youthnets financial statements. Published in this Annual Report is a copy of Youthnet’s Statement of Financial Activities and Balance Sheet for the year ending 31 March 2009. A full set of accounts may be obtained from Youthnet offices on request.
Reserves Policy The Directors have established a policy whereby the unrestricted funds not committed or invested in tangible fixed assets (‘the free reserves’) held by the charity should be 3 months of the unrestricted resources expended, which equated to approximately £28,204 in
general funds at 31 March 2009. At this level, the Directors feel that they would be able to continue the current activities of the charity, in the event of a significant drop in funding. It would obviously be necessary to consider how the funding would be replaced or activities changed. At 31 March 09 free reserves were £88,666, excluding the pension liability and (£177,334) including the pension liability. The Directors feel there are sufficient reserves to mitigate immediate or short-term risks in relation to unrestricted funds, but continue to monitor long-term risks to the charity, in particular with regard to the pension liability. The valuation of the company’s pension scheme at 31 March 2009, for the purposes of FRS 17, showed a funding deficit of £266,000. This deficit represents the difference between the liabilities of the pension fund and the value of its underlying assets; it does not represent an immediate commitment, as the cash flow required to meet the deficit relates to future pension contributions. Therefore, this liability is expected to arise over the long-term rather than the
immediate future. The valuation of the pension schemes assets under FRS 17 is different from the triennial actuarial valuation which determines the contributions required to reduce the deficit. Current financial projections indicate that Youthnet will be able to make these contributions as they fall due.
Risk Review The Directors have assessed the major risks to which the charity is exposed, in particular those related to the operations and finances of the company, and are satisfied that systems are in place to mitigate our exposure to the major risks.
Statement of Directors’ responsibilities The Directors are responsible for preparing financial statements in accordance with applicable law and regulations. Company law requires the Directors to prepare financial statements for each financial year. Under the law the Directors have elected to prepare the financial statements in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (United Kingdom Accounting
Standards and applicable law). The financial statements are required by law to give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the company and of the profit or loss of the company for that period. In preparing these financial statements the Directors are required to: â€˘ Select suitable accounting policies and then apply them consistently â€˘ Make judgements and estimates that are reasonable and prudent â€˘ Prepare the financial statements on the going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to presume that the company will continue in business. The Directors are responsible for keeping proper accounting records that disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the company and enable them to ensure that the financial statements comply with the Companies (Northern Ireland) Order 1986. They are also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the company and hence fort taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities.
Approved by the board on 13 October 2009 and signed on its behalf by:
Youthnet Staff Team Director Denis Palmer
CORPORATE AFFAIRS TEAM Claire O’Hare Deputy Director (Corporate Affairs) Linda Gordon Communications Officer Leeanne Holmes Finance Officer (Corporate/ The Big Deal)
STRATEGIC FUNDING PROGRAMMES Desy Clayton Strategic Funding Programmes Manager (Peace III / The Big Deal) Pauline Murray Project Officer - Peace III Niamh O’Carolan Project Officer - The Big Deal Shona Ennis Administrator (Peace III/ The Big Deal)
MEMBERSHIP DEVELOPMENT TEAM Mary Field Deputy Director (Membership Development) Jenny Roberts Development Officer – Child Protection Chris Flack Development Officer Amanda Stephens Development OfficerInclusion Ben Ewan Development OfficerInclusion Susan Conlon Project Officer
Key activities During the year we carried out an extensive consultation with managers, youth workers, volunteers and children and young people and presented a composite report to DE to inform the development of Priorities for Youth. We are still engaged in this consultation process and discussions with DE on behalf of the sector. This is very important as this will set the strategy for the future delivery of youth work. We have been asked by DE to consider more effective models to ensure that all aspects of the voluntary youth sector are represented in any new forums both relating to DE and ESA. We are currently in the process of carrying out a range of consultations and working to produce a discussion document suggesting potential models. Linked to this we have commissioned the University of Ulster to do further work with the membership in developing their views on how best to represent the Voluntary Youth
Sector at Regional, Sub regional and Local levels in the new educational structures. The outcomes of this consultation and the discussion paper will be the main themes of our conference in December 2009. We also responded to policy consultations representing membership views in relation to: • Volunteering Strategy for Northern Ireland, (Department for Social Development) • Dormant Accounts Department of Finance and Personnel • RPA Establishment of the Education Advisory Forum • RPA Publicly Owned Schools - Ownership and Representation • ESA Proposals for Director Level Structure • Northern Ireland Office “Together, Stronger, Safer”Consultation on Community Safety • Review of the Small Bus Permit (Section 10B) scheme (Road Safety Division Department of the Environment) www.youthnetni.org.uk
REPRESENTATION AND ADVOCACY
Aim 1 Provide an effective voice for the voluntary youth sector.
All of the above submissions are available on the Youthnet website. Staff and volunteers from Youthnet and its member organisations are supported to contribute to a range of structures to engage with policy makers and take forward issues impacting on the voluntary youth sector and children and young people. Some of the work of these groups is highlighted below: Youthnet representatives continue to play an active role in the Youth Work Training Board and have been addressing a range of issues including the development of a qualifications framework for youth work and the recognition of accredited programmes by the Training Board. A major concern within these has been the issue of volunteers and volunteer training. The National Occupational Standards for Youth Work were also finalised this year. We engaged with Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK) in relation to their proposals for a Workforce Development Plan (WDP) for youth work across the UK. Throughout the year a series of meetings and seminars were held raising key concerns of the impact of the WDP on voluntary sector organisations particularly on volunteers. Key issues concerned the â€˜licence to practiceâ€™ and accreditation of volunteer
workforce. LLUK have agreed toinitiate research on defining workforce development needs in NI. These issues have been shared and discussed with our partner organisations in England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland. Through the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Education Stakeholders Forum we have represented the voluntary youth sector to inform guidance and developments in relation to the implementation of the Vetting and Barring Scheme and have disseminated information to the sector. Youthnet is part of the partnership on the Management Group of the Curriculum Development Unit (CDU) where the Lead Partner is the NEELB. This year the unit have been prioritising developing the youth work curriculum around participation, testing values and beliefs, acceptance and understanding of others. Alongside this PlayBoard have been asked to lead on the Under 10s age specific strategy. The emerging priority for the unit is the development of Quality Assurance for Youth Work and how this can be delivered across the sector. Youthnet is clear that existing models of Quality Assurance in the voluntary youth sector must be recognised in any future framework proposed. We are also keen that the learning from the
Peace Programmes is incorporated. We have also contributed articles on the work of Youthnet and our membership to the CDU newsletter which is circulated throughout the sector. We recruited three new members to the International Committee as the committee seek to promote the importance of International Programmes within the Youth Service to influence future DE policy and ESA Strategy. The WELB and SELB Stakeholder forums had their final meetings during the year. The forum model will be written up, in consultation with Youthnet, by the ELBs and presented to the Education and Skills Authority for consideration as a model of stakeholder engagement in the sector. The model will particularly identify the need for investment in capacity building for voluntary sector representatives so they can adequately represent the views of their constituent group. The Human Rights Commission has submitted its recommendations on a Bill of Rights to the Secretary of State and the Human Rights Consortium is continuing to work to raise public awareness of the process as it moves forward. It is hoped that the Bill will be out for
consultation by the end of the year. The Consortium has created an interactive campaign to engage its membership and the wider community to ensure a good response to the consultation. Youthnet, in conjunction with NICVA, organised a Bill of Rights event with young people as part of the Trans Urban Arts Academy summer programme. This event used spoken word and music to explore what young people wanted to see in a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland. The outcomes of this event were presented to the Human Rights Consortium. Through the Equality Coalition, Youthnet took part in advisory groups on two separate strands of the work of the Equality Commission. These were the Section 75 Revised Guide Advisory Group and the Section 75 Compliance Advisory Group. Both of these groups hope to report back before the end of this year. The Child Poverty Alliance held a Campaign day 23 September 2009 at Stormont. Youthnet provided an information pack for the event and we will continue to support the ongoing campaign. The Alliance is currently engaged in running a series of information sessions on Child Poverty at
Stormont designed for assembly staff and party members. Through, the Anti-Bullying Forumâ€™s Anti-homophobic Bullying Task Group, we contributed to the development of a fact sheet for teachers addressing homophobic bullying which has been issued to all schools across the North of Ireland. We are represented on the Sexual Health Information and Exchange Group (SHIEG). SHIEG is a partnership of statutory, public and voluntary sector agencies from across Northern Ireland who come together to share information and good practice on issues around sexual health. Networking through this group has led to us carrying out LGBT awareness raising within the Health Sector. Representation on the HAZ (Health Action Zone) Sexual Health Project Board has provided us with opportunities to highlight issues faced by LGBT young people at conferences and seminars within the Health Sector.
The Voluntary Sector Network from across the Isles continue to meet to share policy, strategy and issues impacting on the voluntary youth sector in the respective jurisdictions. They are particularly concerned in relation to the impact on volunteers of workforce development proposals. They have scheduled to meet in December of this year to explore these issues in more depth. A Peace Network has been established to share learning from the Peace Programmes with other European Countries and is facilitated by the Special European Union Programmes Body. Youthnet has been tasked by YESIP to take the lead on the working group on Peace Building for Children and Young People. Activities of the working group to date have been the organisation of a seminar and training session in Cyprus on the Northern Ireland youth sector experience. A summary of the overall role of Youthnet in the Peace Programmes and case study examples of strategic work developed through Peace Programmes was presented. This was followed by a session delivered to youth workers on Peace and Reconciliation training and monitoring and evaluation of peace building projects. The seminar and training involved Youthnet, YouthAction NI and the National Council of YMCAs.
Youthnet provides information and support to organisations in relation to compliance with legislation and effective practice Governance We continue to be actively involved in the Developing Good Governance Group. The aim of this group is to proactively lead on and facilitate initiatives to improve the governance of voluntary and community organisations in Northern Ireland. Lloyds TSB funding has enabled the group to achieve a number of key outputs this year: â€˘ The DIY Committee Guide (www.diycommitteeguide.org) was re-launched following a mapping exercise to link the resources provided to the 7 Principles of Good Governance. â€˘ The Code of Good Governance itself was updated and reprinted for distribution across the voluntary sector.
Youthnet has also delivered Governance Training to a number of its member organisations during the year. Of the 8 member organisations Youthnet supported through the Investors in People programme, 4 have now been assessed and were presented with their awards in November this year. Congratulations go to Brook NI, the Bytes Project, Mulholland Aftercare Services and the Voice of Young People in Care for the work undertaken in achieving this award. We are confident that the remaining organisations will be in a position to be assessed soon.
INFORMATION AND SUPPORT
Aim 2 Support our members in effective organisational development and in the delivery of quality services to children and young people.
Child Protection We continue to coordinate and support the training team within the Cross Sectoral Child Protection Initiative (CSCPI) as further described on Page 20 as a collaborative initiative between the statutory and voluntary youth sector. Alongside this Youthnet has supported voluntary and community organisations to develop child protection policies and procedures and delivered direct training to smaller groups who do not have access to a ‘Keeping Safe’ Accredited trainer. We also signpost individuals to relevant training in this area. We have worked throughout the year to ensure the voluntary and community youth sector have access to the most up to date information in relation to the introduction of the Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) and we have responded to an increased number of requests for further guidance on aspects of the scheme from members. An important piece of work is carrying out Criminal Record Background Checks, through Access NI and providing support and guidance. Applications are processed from a varied range of groups including youth clubs, church based groups, community based youth projects, arts groups and other voluntary organisations. In the past year we have processed almost 1580 applications.
Feedback from these groups indicate that this has reduced the level of bureaucracy for them and the ongoing support and guidance in relation to the interpretation of disclosures is invaluable.
Inclusion The Development Team at Youthnet welcomed a new member of staff this year through Peace III who will have a clear focus on Inclusion. Youthnet is committed to strengthening the capacity of the youth sector to address equality issues, including homophobia and race hate, through organisational, staff and volunteer development. We will also support youth organisations to share best practice in inclusion on a North/ South basis through the creation of networking opportunities. We have initially identified joint areas of work that will be taken forward in partnership with the National Youth Council of Ireland on a North/South basis. • Intercultural youth work - guidance and good practice • Faith Based Interest Group - launch of Charter and exploration of diversity issues • LGBT youth worker networks Through representation on the South Belfast Round Table on Racism, the need to further engage with youth providers, in light of increased incidents of hate crimes in the area, was also identified. A seminar was
hosted by the Equality Commission to provide an opportunity for youth providers to voice issues of concern, and identify ways forward for tackling race hate through youth work. A number of key issues emerged that will be discussed and actions developed at a further meeting in January 2010. Youthnet also supported the delivery of an accredited training programme on prejudice awareness for student leaders aimed at equipping participants to deal with equality issues more effectively. Work has also begun on the development of a framework for collating and sharing good practice with other delivery partners in the YESIP Peace III project in relation to working with target groups of children and young people.
focus of the group and to address the common concerns for organisations working with BME communities. OUTStanding Youth Work - a toolkit for exploring lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT), issues was launched at the University of Ulster at Jordanstown by the Minister for Education, Caitríona Ruane in June. Speaking at the launch the Minister said
“The training pack being launched today is an excellent resource and I congratulate Youthnet on the work it has done to develop it. LGBT young people should have access to support and a full range of learning opportunities to help them develop to their full potential. I am keen to support any resource which gives youth workers the opportunity to understand more about the specific experiences facing all our young people.”
The Faith Based Interest Group was supported to attend ‘Islam for Service Providers’ training during the year. Through Peace III, the group has also been facilitated to finalise a Faith Charter for youth organisations working in a faith based setting. They held a very successful launch and seminar in November 2009 and will publish a seminar report in December 2009.
The toolkit is used to facilitate the delivery of a training programme for youth workers and there has been considerable interest in this training. Training has also been delivered to second year students on the Youth and Community work degree course at the University of Ulster.
Also through Peace III, a Black Minority Ethnic Interest Group (BMEIG) has been established for organisations working in this sector. A number of introductory sessions have been facilitated to identify the
In partnership with the Rainbow Project, a full training day has been developed, including video role plays, to be delivered to PSNI Minority Liaison Officers. Youthnet also continues to provide LGBT awareness
training to PSNI new recruits. Since September 2008 training in LGBT awareness raising has been delivered to 965 participants. We continue to facilitate the Transgender Peer Support Group meetings in Belfast bi-monthly. The capacity within this group has been developed and they are now facilitating their own sessions on Transgender awareness within the Health Sector and are considering how to take this forward into the voluntary and community sector.
Youth Arts Network We have supported a working group from the youth arts sector to meet over the past year with a view to gaining agreement for the development and role of a Youth Arts Network. Alongside this, Youthnet, the Education and Library Boards and the Youth Council for NI are developing a proposal to seek Lottery Funding through the Arts Council to deliver Youth Arts work in the voluntary and community sector. To inform the consortium proposal, Youthnet has undertaken a wide ranging preliminary consultation with the arts sector. Once the proposal has been developed it will be circulated for further consultation with the youth arts sector prior to submission in the New Year.
Employers Sub Group During the year we commissioned an independent study identifying the most appropriate pension options for voluntary sector youth workers who are not eligible to participate in the NILGOSC Pension Scheme. The outcomes of the study have been presented to DE and ELBs for consideration.
Voluntary Sector Youth Workers As part of the discussions around broader representation of the voluntary youth sector we have facilitated a group of voluntary sector youth workers to come together to discuss issues of support and representation. This group are planning a conference in early 2010 to further explore these themes.
Communications Throughout the year, Youthnet has responded to the Department of Education on issues relating to services for children and young people through gathering information from our members. This information has been used to respond to Assembly questions and questions from other Government Departments on thematic areas of interest. The primary method of communication with members continues to be via email and 42 editions of Epipe - the weekly electronic newsletter were circulated, containing a wide range of relevant information relating to policy, legislation, practice, events and seminars.
30 topic specific emails were sent to members covering a number of issues, consultations, policy responses and legislation including: • Priorities for Youth • Changes to Vetting and Barring Scheme • Workforce Development • Dormant bank accounts • ‘Keeping Safe’ Training • Policy briefings • Wider legislative updates The website has been further developed, and participants may now signup online for events, seminars and training or receive further information on a particular issue. An events calendar has been developed and the Information Management section of the website has also been expanded to include information on Health & Safety, as well as a range of sample polices from the Youthnet staff handbook. The website is updated on a regular basis to ensure that relevant information on all aspects of Youthnet’s work is available to a wide audience.
The Youthnet website received 19,500 hits during the year, with over 70% of visits to the site coming from repeat visitors.
Funding Support Through funding from the Department of Education in relation to strengthening the senior management capacity of the voluntary youth sector, allocated through the Youth Council for Northern Ireland, Youthnet has supported senior managers from within its membership to undertake continued professional development in the following areas: • Human Resource Management • Supervisory and Management Skills • Leadership/ strategic planning • Change management, and problem solving A number of member organisations have also recently benefited from ICT Bursaries, funded by the Youth Council for Northern Ireland, through Youthnet. Training opportunities range from Sages Accounts training to Microsoft Update training.
King George VI Youth Awards (KGVI) King George VI Youth Awards Provides support for youth work activities for 14-21 year olds. The Awards Panel received 48 applications during the year and of these 24 awards ranging from £100 - £500 were distributed by the panel.
Much of the content of Epipe is generated by member organisations who are encouraged to use this medium to share information and highlight their work, such as: • Training opportunities offered • Notice of conferences and seminars • Job advertisements • Project launches • Promotion of publications • Promotion of youth work curriculum resources
Aim 3 To work in collaboration with others to ensure maximum benefit for the voluntary youth sector in the delivery of services to children and young people. Peace III Youth Education Social Inclusion Partnership (YESIP) Under Peace III, the Youth Education Social Inclusion Partnership (YESIP) has developed a ‘Young People Building Positive Relations’ project involving ten delivery partners, five partners from within the Statutory Youth Sector and five from the Voluntary Youth sector. Youthnet is the lead agency for the Voluntary Youth Sector. Throughout the year Youthnet has been involved in a series of preparatory and support meetings to ensure the smooth and timely delivery of the Peace III Programme: • Partnership Agreements/contracts have been signed and all voluntary sector projects are now up and running; • Initial verification and monitoring visits have been carried out; • Terms of reference for access to central funding have been agreed; and
• Project reporting structures and frameworks have been drafted and agreed. A major networking event took place at the Canal Court Hotel in Newry 23 September 09. The event, which was attended by representatives of all elements of the project, was focused on reinforcing the concept of participation in a single project and exploring common themes in relation to targeting young people, training and ICT. The day included a series of thematic presentations and workshops as well as affording a vital opportunity for participants to discuss issues of common interest. The event is the first in a series of such events which will be held to bring delivery partners together to explore commonalities and challenges and share practice.
The Big Deal Programme The Big Deal Programme, now in its fourth year, comprises a £1.5m Small Grants Programme and a £3m Strategic Programme aimed at 0-25 year olds. The aim of The Big Deal is to encourage children and young people to become involved in participatory activities which enhance their personal and social development and to have the skills, knowledge and opportunities to make informed choices about their lives and demonstrate their positive contribution to family and community life. As it approaches its final year the Steering Group is committed to undertaking an impact study of The Big Deal Programme as a whole which will consider the outcomes and potential legacy of the Programme as a consequence of the Big Lottery Fund’s £4.5m investment. Pending approval by The Big Lottery Fund, this process will begin in the new year.
Small Grants programme The success of the Small Grants Programme to date is complemented by an additional investment of £0.5m from The Big Lottery Fund in September this year bringing the total fund to £1.5m. By the end of October 09 the Small Grants Programme had awarded £1,141,685 to 517 projects working with around 9,000 children and young people across Northern Ireland. Award panels are made up of children and young people from across Northern
Ireland. They decide which projects are funded and how much they receive. Awards range from £500 - £2,500. The Children and Young Person’s Forum continues to provide significant support to award panel members in carrying out this voluntary role. An independent evaluation of The Small Grants Programme is currently underway.
Strategic Programme Under the Strategic Programme, PlayBoard delivers a 0-10 Play Quest Programme focusing on the engagement and participation of children through the medium of play. The Play Quest Team also works with organisations to promote and embed the principles and values of effective participation. Throughout the year PlayBoard have developed and delivered Play Quest programmes in 38 settings throughout Northern Ireland. The Play Quest Team has also developed a booklet and DVD designed to assist organisations and groups to explore and develop children’s participation through play. To date 17,000 children have participated in the Play Quest Programme. The Northern Ireland Youth Forum (NIYF) in partnership with the Education and Library Boards (ELB’s) delivers 5 programmes targeted primarily at young people in the11-25 and 17-25 age groups. These programmes are designed to achieve the greater participation of young people as decision-makers in their own lives and in the activities and services they take part in.
4,500 young people have participated in these programmes to date. Further details on all aspects of The Big Deal Programme are available on the website: www.thebigdealni.com.
Department of Education Voluntary Youth Sector Outreach Initiative We have allocated funding for a second year to the following organisations:• • • • • • •
An Munia Tober Belfast and Lisburn Womens Aid Belfast Islamic Centre Face- Inclusion Matters Gay Lesbian Youth NI Public Achievement YouthAction NI
These organisations have developed programmes to engage and support young people in their thematic areas of expertise and have also developed outreach programmes to include ethnic minority groups and resond to emerging need.
DE Cross Sectoral Child Protection Initiative (CSCPI) We continue to co-ordinate and support 45 Cross Sectoral Child Protection Trainers ensuring that they are regularly assessed to meet quality assurance guidelines. Around 20 of these trainers are also equipped to deliver training that includes a disability element.
This is a significant training resource for the youth sector and during the year a range of youth organisations have accessed training through the team and demand continues to grow. We are pleased that almost 2,500 staff and volunteers have participated in child protection training this year that meets their needs and that of these 1080 have participated in the ‘Keeping Safe’ certificated training. Some trainers have also received Child Exploitation Online Protection (CEOP) Thinkuknow Ambassador training which allows them to deliver training on new technologies to other youth workers. These youth workers in turn deliver training to 11-16 year old young people on staying safe while using new technology. We have also ensured that organisations have access to Designated Officer training either through commissioning specific courses from the Health Trusts or signposting to courses already being organised. This has resulted in more than 65 individuals accessing this training. We hope during the coming year to encourage more members of management committees to undertake child protection training specifically designed to meet their needs.
Governance There were 7 new members nominated to join the Executive Committee during the year. The Committee continues to work hard to maintain effective and responsive governance processes and to guide the work of the organisation. • The Youthnet Executive Committee was convened 7 times during this period and 7 comprehensive progress reports were reviewed and discussed. The Youthnet Honorary Officers also met in advance of Committee meetings and the Finance and Personnel Committee held 3 meetings during the year. • 4 Quarterly Finance reports were reviewed by the Executive Committee. • The annual Operational Plan was agreed in March and staff work-plans developed. 4 Quarterly Monitoring Reports were submitted and reviewed.
Human Resources Youthnet received confirmation from Investor’s In People, 8 May 09 of its continued status as an Investor In People following review in March. We welcomed 2 new members of staff this year, Strategic Funding Programmes Manager, Desy Clayton and Development Officer (Inclusion), Ben Ewan.
Staff development needs were reviewed during the year and the following training was identified and undertaken: • (MCSA) Microsoft Certified System Administrator (1) • Child Protection Training (1) • Thinkuknow Training re Child Exploitation and Online Protection (1) • Anti-Hate Crime Training (1) • First Aid training (4) • PSNI diversity training (1) • Cultural Competency/ Intercultural Awareness Training (2) • Diversity Awareness Delivery Training (2) • ‘Outstanding’ Youth work training (1) A number of HR policies were developed, reviewed and updated in line with current legislation and best practice. Policies Developed: • Policy on new Local Government Pension Scheme (NILGOSC) • Removable Storage Policy • Remote Access Policy Policies Updated: • Maternity, Paternity and Adoption policy • Health and Safety policy • IT users guide
Aim 4 Ensure Youthnet is Fit for Purpose
Finance and Administration Youthnet has continued to review its systems and procedures throughout the year to ensure maximum accountability and effectiveness, to include the following: • Financial and budgetary control systems; • Pension, investment and reserves policies; • Risk management and assessment procedures; • Apportionment policies; and • Maintenance of accounting records and asset management.
Resourcing Youthnet was successful in its application to The Youth Council for Northern Ireland to receive core funding as the Representative Body for the Voluntary Youth Sector. We also continue to be an Award Partner to The Big Lottery Fund for delivery of The Big Deal Programme and the lead agency for the Voluntary Youth Sector in the Youth Education Social Inclusion Partnership (YESIP) Peace III project ‘Young People Building Positive Relations’. Renewed funding for the current financial year also includes: • Department of Education (DE) Cross Sectoral Child Protection Initiative. • DE Outreach Initiative. • DE Membership Development.
Information and Internal Communication Systems Maintenance of IT systems was ongoing throughout the year to ensure the integrity and security of the network: • A six monthly review was carried out of Youthnet’s IT disaster recovery plan. • Server maintenance plans were implemented as appropriate. • Information was provided to staff regarding updating and maintaining their home PCs to ensure that the integrity of the Youthnet network is not compromised during remote access. • Staff were also encouraged to share files and folders and further develop Youthnet’s intranet.
Voluntary Youth Network for Northern Ireland
(A company limited by guarantee)
Statement of Financial Activities for the year ended 31 March 2009 Restricted Funds 2009 £
Unrestricted Funds 2009 £
Total Funds 2009 £
Total Funds 2008 £
103,594 819 5,905 -
103,594 819 5,905 2,091,018
128,594 1151 5,902 1,691,683
8,766 2,049,986 29,642
6,220 88,287 18,311
14,986 2,138,272 47,953
12,902 1,884,180 44,338
Total funds at 1 April 2008
Total funds at 31 March 2009
Notes Incoming Resources from generated funds: Voluntary income Investment income Activities for generating funds Incoming resources from charitable activities Other incoming resources
2 3 4
Total incoming resources Resources Expended Costs of generating funds: Fundraising expenses and other costs Charitable activities Governance costs
6 6 6
Total resources expended Net incoming resources/ (resources expended) before revaluations Gains and losses on revaluations of investment assets Net movement in funds
All activities relate to continuing operations
Voluntary Youth Network for Northern Ireland
(A company limited by guarantee)
Balance Sheet as at 31 March 2009 Notes
Fixed Assets Tangible assets
Cash at bank and in hand
Creditors : amounts falling due within one year
Net current assets
Total assets less current liabilities
Provisions for liabilities Other provisions Net assets Charity Funds Restricted funds
General and designated funds Pension liability
The Financial Statements were approved by the Board on 13 October 2009 and signed on their behalf:
Director Rainer Pagel
Director Tony McCusker
SOFA AND BALANCE SHEET
Youthnet Membership 2009 Full Members • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Action Mental Health - VOTE Project An Munia Tober Army Cadet Force Association The Beat Initiative Belfast Community Circus School Belfast Islamic Centre The Boys’ Brigade British Red Cross Brook NI The BYTES Project Cathog Catholic Guides of Ireland Challenge for Youth Chinese Welfare Association Church of Ireland Youth Council Cinemagic Clubs for Young People Contact Youth Co-operation Ireland Corrymeela Community Department of Youth & Childrens’ Work (Methodist Church) Disability Action Youth Project Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme Extern Face Inclusion Matters Forthspring GLYNI The Girls’ Brigade Girls Friendly Society GirlGuiding UK, Province of Ulster Harmony Community Trust Hope UK Hostelling International Include Youth Mencap Mulholland After Care Services Multi Cultural Resource Centre NIACRO National Council of YMCA’s of Ireland
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Newry Volunteer Bureau NICHS NI Children’s Enterprise NI Council for Ethnic Minorities NI Deaf Youth Association NI Forces Youth Service NI Scout Council Northern Area Sea Cadets Oh Yeah Music Centre Ltd Opportunity Youth Playboard Positive Futures Presbyterian Youth Department The Prince’s Trust Public Achievement RNIB The Rainbow Project St Columb’s Park House St John Ambulance Scout Foundation Northern Ireland Share Centre Springboard Opportunities Limited Terry Enright Foundation The Spirit of Enniskillen Trust Voice of Young People in Care VS B - Young Citizens In Action Women’s Aid Federation Northern Ireland Young Person’s Development Project Young At Art Young Farmers Clubs of Ulster YouthAction YouthCom Youth Initiatives Youth Link NI
Affiliate Members • • • • • • • • • • •
Belfast City Council Belfast Education & Library Board NI Citizen’s Advice Bureau NSPCC NUS/USI North Eastern Education & Library Board The Police Service of Northern Ireland Community Involvement Branch Probation Board for Northern Ireland South Eastern Education & Library Board Southern Education & Library Board Western Education & Library Board