A message from Jenifer Cameron
There are signs of spring and hope in the blooming of snowdrops and daffodils and in the rapidly growing number of those vaccinated. After a difficult stop-start year it will likely be some months before we really can feel that the world is opening up again but here at Action4Youth we are looking ahead with energy and optimism. We are optimistic that the NCS programme will run again this summer giving 15-17 year olds a tremendous opportunity to have potentially life changing experiences, to build new friendships across the community and to gain new skills. We’re also looking forward to young people flooding back to our Caldecotte Xperience in their thousands to challenge themselves, develop team working and leadership skills in a fun environment.
Our Duke of Edinburgh Award expeditions are planned, The Inspiration Programme has adapted to run throughout lockdown and we hope mentoring will soon be back in action. Training and membership services are available online and we have new, valuable training programmes in development.
During lockdown we have spent time updating our website and it has been interesting to add case studies and stories from so many young people we’ve worked with in the last year or two. Too often at Action4Youth we talk about our programmes and what benefits they bring to those who take part rather than telling the stories of those whose lives have been changed for the better by the time they have spent with us. For some a small incident or event has changed a life. Jasmine from our NCS team, told me about a young woman coming to speak to her as she queued in a shop. The young woman told her that Jas had changed her life on NCS. She had spent her life in care, was generally negative and disruptive. Jas took her to task for her poor behaviour and the young woman said that was the first time she could remember in her life that someone had laid it on the line: behave or leave. She stayed, changed her behaviour, attitude and life and now is building a good life and career. Just one of so many stories of lives changed by the work of Action4Youth.
Now, and as the Covid threat recedes, there are more young people than ever who need opportunities for growth, help to develop and chances to discover their own potential. We will be there for them.
CEO – Action4Youth
The Inspiration Programme- Wendover Woods
The Inspiration Programme facilitated the first virtual session with Forestry England Wendover woods. It was amazing to find out about what goes on at Wendover woods and the benefits of outdoor spaces for our mental health and wellbeing.
This element of the programme is to help inspire the young people to get out and find out more about nature that surrounds them. We also had a virtual run around viewing the new play areas. The young people also found out about the volunteering and jobs opportunities available to them, It was a motivating and inspiring session.
Active Forest Co-ordinator
“Community engagement is an important part of what we do at Wendover Woods and we really enjoy seeing schools and groups explore our forest and connect with nature. Although the planned Inspiration Programme visits in January were unable to go ahead, Tracy was proactive in enabling us to meet the groups virtually and inspire online instead.
My colleague Adam and I very much enjoyed meeting the students on Zoom for a virtual tour to letting them know a little more about what we do as an organisation. We were really pleased to hear that the students now feel motivated to get out again and we look forward to welcoming them to the site in the hopefully not too distant future!”
VCSE Recovery Board
The Bucks VCSE Recovery Board’s membership is a representative group of Bucks charities and officers and members of Bucks Council. The group aims to work together to find solutions to the challenges facing our communities in the short and longer terms. At its February meeting, issues highlighted included increases in pressure on food banks and provision for the homeless as well as covid related health and wellbeing problems in both older and young people.
A project to understand need across the county is being led by NPC and funded by the Rothschild Foundation with support from the VCSE, Community Boards and Bucks Council. Information gained from the research project will inform future decisions of the Bucks Funders Group. The Board, which has been in existence for 7 months, is developing an action plan of which priorities will include building collaborative partnerships across the VCSE and statutory sectors and encouraging volunteering.
Bucks Council’s grants review is currently in hand and consideration is being given to a variety of approaches to both grass roots and strategic funding. The Review will report back to the Board as its work progresses.
Action4Youth’s CEO, JeniferCameron, is Vice Chair of this Board and is happy to have any questions, comments or suggestions [email protected]
Action4Youth has been delivering the National Citizen Service programme to 15-17 year olds in Bucks since its inception.
The good news is that from this summer we will be delivering the programme in Milton Keynes and Slough as well as Bucks so many more young people will benefit from the A4Y experience. We’re especially pleased to be delivering in Milton Keynes where so many young people already know us from their experience at our Caldecotte Xperience outdoor education centre.
Click here to find out more about NCS.
Membership & Training
Safeguarding Essentials Training
Do you or anyone in your organisation required safeguarding training before March?
Let us know! We have a couple of members who require safeguarding training who missed out on the session hosted for their organisation and require the training prior to end of March, this is the opportunity to join them. This online session costs just £15 per person. Please get in contact [email protected]
If you’re setting up an online community or already running online support services, it’s vital that your messenger platform, online forum or any type of virtual environment is safe for children. This online training session will guide you through managing online presence, responsibility of staff and volunteers around their personal online profiles as well as Data Protection responsibilities. https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/training/online-community-management Take advantage of the 25% discount available until 16th February on online courses.