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Full Members


We facilitated the delivery of showcasing events to highlight positive inclusive youth work practice: • ‘Diversity goes Cross-Border’ • ‘A Road Less Travelled’ • ‘Out of Reach?’

“Access All Areas” is an example of cross border collaboration at its best, bringing together expertise to create something that will have a lasting impact. It will prove to be an invaluable resource for everyone working to make Ireland more welcoming of young people and volunteers from all backgrounds.” said Minister Fitzgerald (Department of Children and Youth Affairs)

We produced a website for the voluntary youth sector to support inclusion that includes: • Resource library • Access to publications, reports, multimedia on inclusive practice • An introduction to ‘Access All Areas’ • Guidelines for intercultural work We provide support to voluntary youth organisations working with minority ethnic communities to establish safe, welcoming and inclusive spaces for children and young people. In addition to our advocacy work in relation to Transgender issues we continue to Cofacilitate the Trans youth group – Translate; Act as secretariat for the Trans Forum and facilitate the Trans Peer Support Group. 73 participants took part in ‘Outstanding Training’ during the year. This is a two day training programme designed to help youth workers explore Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender issues. A further 100 people participated in awareness raising focusing on Trans issues in more depth.

• Action Mental Health • An Munia Tober • Army Cadet Force Association • The Beat Initiative • Belfast Islamic Centre • The Boys’ Brigade • British Red Cross • Brook NI • Bryson Intercultural • The BYTES Project • Cathog • Catholic Guides of Ireland • Challenge for Youth • Chinese Welfare Association • Church of Ireland Youth Council • Cinemagic • Clubs for Young People • Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta • Contact NI • Corrymeela Community • Cruse Bereavement Care (Young Cruse Project) • Department of Youth & Childrens’ Work (Methodist Church) • Disability Action Youth Project • Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme • Extern • Forthspring • GLYNI • The Girls’ Brigade • Girls Friendly Society

• GirlGuiding UK, Province of Ulster • Harmony Community Trust • Hostelling International • Include Youth • The MAC • MACS • Mencap • National Children’s Bureau NI • New Life Counselling • NIACRO • 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 • Ógras • Oh Yeah Music Centre Ltd • Opportunity Youth • Playboard • Positive Futures • Presbyterian Youth Department • The Prince’s Trust • Public Achievement • RNIB • The Rainbow Project • Rathbone • 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 • VOYPIC • Voluntary Youth Workers Association • Women’s Aid Federation Northern Ireland – Young Person’s Development Project • YMCA Ireland • Young At Art • Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster • YouthAction • YouthCom • Youth Initiatives • Youth Link:NI

Youthnet is the voluntary youth network for Northern Ireland. Our mission is to ensure the development and recognition of an effective and diverse voluntary youth sector that involves, empowers and meets the needs of young people.

Annual Review 2012 Advocacy

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 • Probation Board for Northern Ireland • South Eastern Education & Library Board • Southern Education & Library Board • Western Education & Library Board


Strengthening the


Acknowledgements We would like to thank the following organisations / bodies who have supported our work during the year: • Department of Education • Youth Council for Northern Ireland • Special European Programmes Body • Building Change Trust Youthnet acknowledges funding support from the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund through the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation (Peace III) managed by the Special EU Programmes Body

Follow us on Twitter@YouthnetNI Or Facebook Youthnet, 5th Floor, 14 College Square North, Belfast BT1 6AS T: 028 9033 1880 F: 028 9033 1977 E: Registered as The Voluntary Youth Network for Northern Ireland Company Limited by Guarantee (NI 16988) Inland Revenue Charity Number: XR 15098/LS design:

Building Change

“We thank all the volunteers who on behalf of the voluntary youth network continue to contribute their time, energy and expertise to enhancing the lives of children and young people.”

Chairperson’s Review As I come to the end of my time in office the key issue facing the voluntary youth sector is the outworking of the Department of Education’s (DE) consultation on Priorities for Youth. We look forward to seeing some very clear and positive statements in the new policy, i.e. a clear statement that future relationships will be based on the principles of the Concordat; a clear statement which moves youth work from youth work ‘in’ education to recognising youth work in its own right as a distinct educational service within the education family. We will be looking to DE and its Minister to act as champions for youth work and to develop clear links to key strategies for children and young people across all areas of Government. We seek clear acknowledgment of the independence of the voluntary youth sector and the added value that it brings. We look forward to DE taking operational issues out of the draft policy and creating a framework through which these can be addressed within the spirit of collaboration and partnership identified in the Concordat. Finally, we seek clear recognition of the role and value of our most significant asset, our volunteers.

Throughout the year Youthnet was engaged in a process of exploring and preparing for change both internally and externally in partnership with the members. Internally, a number of key programmes came to a close impacting on staffing levels and priority areas of work. To those staff who have now moved on we wish them well in their new roles. I would like to acknowledge the support and commitment from the staff and the Executive Committee and in particular would like to thank the Honorary Officers, David Brown and John Meikleham. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank those standing down this year, Michelle Taylor, Paul McKinstry, John Peacock and Jonathan Gracey for their positive and valuable contribution to the work of the organisation. I extend a warm welcome to the new Chairperson and wish the organisation continued success in the years ahead.

Michael Wardlow Chairperson

Priorities for Youth Youthnet committed to the Minister of Education to consult with as broad a crosssection of the voluntary youth sector as possible on the Department’s ‘Priorities for Youth – Improving Young People’s lives through Youth Work’. To this end we have held a number of local and regional consultation events involving staff, volunteers and management committee members. We also supported member organisations to consult with young people. In partnership with the Youth Council for Northern Ireland, 4 Regional seminars took place and the themes of international, support for practice, and workforce development were explored.

Local consultations included: Belfast, Bangor, L/Derry, Downpatrick, Ballymena, Dungannon, Portadown, Newry, Fermanagh, Omagh



During the year we met with Minister, John O’Dowd to promote the role that voluntary organisations have in engaging with and encouraging the participation of young people. We also raised the issue of the Concordat principles underpinning relationships with the Department of Education (DE) and its agents.


Youthnet represented the voluntary youth 44 editions of sector on:E-pipe were circulated • Department of Education (DE) Priorities for to over 500 recipients Youth Advisory Group in the development of during the year. the policy; Welcome to new members: • Curriculum Development Unit (CDU) Quality • Comhairle na Assurance Framework (QAF) Steering Group in Gaelscolaíochta the development of the new QAF; • The Mac • Youth Service Sectoral Partners Group (YSSPG. This group is currently focused on matching youth work outcomes to educational outcomes; • Education Joint Consultative Forum and responded to DE and ELB’s Audit of Inequalities and Action Plans; • CRED Reference Group; • Safeguarding Education Stakeholders Group; and Access NI Stakeholder Group; • Review of National Occupational Standards for Youth Work. Other areas of advocacy in response to the sector…. 3 Department of Education (DE) on Priorities for Youth 3 Identifying a pension scheme for voluntary youth sector workforce. 3 DE re NI Anti Bullying Forum establishing a Transphobic Bullying Task Group. 3 Education Committee on Priorities for Youth and the proposed closure of Artillery Youth Centre. 3 Department for Social Development (DSD) on funding for Youth Arts. 3 Patients Client Council and Child Adolescence Mental Health Services (CAMHS) on issues affecting young trans people. We also worked in partnership with... 3 The Equality Commission in producing a DVD for ‘Tackling Inequalities in Health’ Conference. 3 Public Health Agency in the development of an e-learning module on Trans issues.

Peace III - North South Youthnet continues to lead on the development of effective cross-border collaboration and has worked with the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) to re-establish the North/South Working Group. Youthnet and NYCI have collaborated on a number of areas including Impact Measurement, Inclusion and Workforce Development. Youthnet also led on the development of the summary paper ‘Youth Work Policy and Delivery in Ireland’ - a valuable resource for the sector. The group has commissioned a mapping exercise of the youth work workforce in the Republic of Ireland (ROI) to complement the work carried out in the North last year. This should be available in early 2013.

“I’m looking forward to this new online Governance training…..the way I see it, I will be able to work away at my own pace, dipping in and out or spending more time on those areas that are more relevant to my circumstances.” Management Committee board member

During the year Youthnet delivered 15 training sessions to youth providers on good governance practice. We continue to contribute to the work of the Good Governance Group which is currently reviewing and updating the Code of Good Governance, Governance Health Check.

We are also working with a consortium of member organisations led by the Girls Brigade NI (GBNI), having secured funding from the Youth Council for Northern Ireland to build an e-learning governance training site. We continue to operate and maintain a range of compliance systems internally which are designed to ensure that Youthnet’s own governing body is effective and fully supported at all times. Youthnet is approaching a new strategic planning cycle which will be led by our new Chairperson. Last year the Executive Committee took the decision to adopt a bridging plan at a time when the organisation was exploring change both with regional voluntary organisations and local youth providers to reposition the network to respond to the anticipated impact of Priorities for Youth and other economic factors.


We have been supporting organisations on the changes to Disclosure and Barring in particular the guidance on supervision of volunteers. Throughout the year our team of ‘Keeping Safe’ Trainers have delivered 88 Courses to 1425 volunteers and we have processed 360 applications for Access NI checks. “the training was very relevant and will help me to look at my practice and what improvements I can put in place to safeguard children and young people.” Child Protection Training participant.

The Executive Committee agreed that the plan would be reviewed at the end of 2012 to incorporate new developments and ensure that the strategic direction of the organisation was responsive to the membership.

Finance Financial and administrative information is available on request and via our website in the full set of financial statements for the year ending 31 March 2012.

King George VI Youth Awards

18 applications were processed and approved, total awarded: £5,310.

Coming Soon The Youthnet website has been revamped during the year and will be available to you shortly. During the year the site received 21,445 hits. 70% were new visitors.

The Directory. The Directory gives member Organisations the opportunity to highlight their work and provide contact information to the voluntary youth sector and beyond. A new edition of the member’s directory will be available to download or view on our website

Annual Report 2012  
Annual Report 2012  

Youthnet Annual Report 2012