A Message from Jenifer Cameron
Happy New Year!
January has brought an unwelcome sense of deja vue as we start another year with headlines and lives dominated by covid however, we have to forge ahead with new plans and initiatives and as always at A4Y we are doing just that.
I’m delighted that with support from 6 Community Boards we are extending our established mentoring programme across all of Aylesbury Vale bringing support to young people who will benefit from intensive 1-2-1 support over an extended period. Referrals generally come from schools, social services and families and we will welcome referrals to the service which will begin later this month.
Also new and exciting is the further development of The Inspiration Programme which has been benefitting young people across Bucks and Milton Keynes in recent years, expanding their horizons, aspirations, future prospects and developing their understanding of their own communities. In response to demand we have developed a self delivery model for schools so that with training, support and quality control from the A4Y team, schools will be able to deliver the whole programme themselves which reduces the cost per class very substantially. We hope this new innovation will mean the programme will reach and benefit very many more young people each year.
The employability training and careers education which are the foundations of The Inspiration Programme are absolutely vital if young people are to reach their potential and have a positive, happy and productive working life so it is important that all young people can access it.
The Junction has seen over 200 individual young people attending the HAF programme with over 380 engagements from the individuals attending. The holiday programme provided hot meals to all young people attending as well as a number of activities such as cooking, pool tournament, sumo wrestling, music production and much more. A young person said “This is the best part of my school holiday, getting to come here everyday and do a lot of things” & “I have never had a chance to share my own music and record what I have written”, “Who doesn’t love good food on a cold night”.
It has been great to welcome so many young people to The Junction across the Christmas break as they benefit having a safe place to access 7 nights per week.
Photography @ The Junction
Every Friday at The Junction we host photography sessions run by professional photographer Lewis and funded by Buckinghamshire Culture. Over the last couple of weeks, we have seen an increase in young people attending the session and progressing with their photography skills.
Sessions are free of charge to young people and can be joined at any time.
Counselling @ The Junction
We offer drop-ins, as well as Counselling at The Junction. Such services are conducted in a safe and confidential environment for the young people to share how they feel in a friendly atmosphere without feeling judged in anyway. Drop-ins are conducted as when the young person needs it, while counselling is usually conducted on weekly basis for a number of sessions where the young person works with a professional to meet specific goals they sets for themselves. The counsellor will help the young person to meet their gaols according to the young person’s pace and needs.
Some benefits of counselling:
- Gives the space and time to work through challenges
- Helps to move forward
- Provides a safe, respectful and non-judgemental environment
- Helps to regain balance and wellbeing in life
- Provides clarity and enables to make better decisions
- Helps to gain a different perspective on problems and issues
- Gaining motivation and confidence
- Improving and maintaining relationships
- Helps to release your true potential
This Summer, we are really excited for the following NCS wave dates:
- Wave 1 – Milton Keynes – Monday 27th June – Friday 8th July (excluding weekends)
- Wave 2 – High Wycombe – Monday 4th July – Friday 15th July (excluding weekends)
- Wave 3 – Aylesbury – Monday 11th July – Friday 22nd July (excluding weekends)
- Wave 4 – Slough – Monday 18th July – Friday 29th July (excluding weekends)
- Wave 5 – Milton Keynes – Monday 25th July – Friday 5th August (excluding weekends)
- Wave 6 – High Wycombe – Monday 1st August – Friday 12th August (excluding weekends)
- Wave 7 – Aylesbury – Monday 8th August – Friday 19th August (excluding weekends)
- Wave 8 – Slough – Monday 15th August – Friday 26th August (excluding weekends)
The first week will be spent as a residential at Caldecotte Xperience, our activity centre in Milton Keynes. We will be completing lots of different activities, including water sports, climbing and challenges to take our participants out of their comfort zone! We will also have lots of different skills sessions, before returning to the local area and linking with local charities to plan and complete social action projects! Sign up now at https://wearencs.com/sign-up-to-ncs.
We will also be beginning our recruitment for the workforce this summer – if you are interested in becoming a Team or Assistant Team Leader, please email [email protected]. Applicants must be 18 years of age.
We can’t wait for an amazing Summer!
The Inspiration Programme
A fantastic start to the new year albeit with masks on again. This term we have groups starting the Health and Wellbeing Pillar and Arts and Culture. This week TIP has had lots going on with one school starting their music session, another going on a mindful walk, a visit to Windmill Hill and a visit to a local farm.
In the last week of December Caldecotte Xperience hosted a four-day HAF programme, which allowed over 60 children to come to the centre! The HAF funding allowed the participants to take part in various exciting & challenging outdoor activities, as well as help our chef prepare their meals learning about food preparation & nutrition. Our team were happy to report an overwhelmingly positive response from the young people. Many remarked on how fun it was to have a chance to meet new friends and socialise, as well as having fun with our instructors on sessions. Most of the young people had some experience with cooking or preparing food which allowed them to have input to the flavours and ingredients, which was lovely to be able to accommodate. This input also allowed them to have some autonomy over what they consumed, whilst discussing the benefits of eating a healthy and balanced diet.
Tesco Community Grants Scheme – In Store Vote
We are also thrilled to receive confirmation of our second grant application. Action4Youth has been put forward to the customer vote in stores around Aylesbury and Milton Keynes from the 1st Jan – 31st March.
If you are visiting any of these stores, please remember to vote for Action4Youth!
Training & Membership
A new year presents the opportunity for a fresh start but for many it feels like there isn’t the time for a new start especially with still covid providing staffing, attendance and other challenges. Perhaps, instead, we can see it as a chance for a quick review; do we have the key things in place, are we up to date? Safeguarding is one of those core areas to prioritise.
For our members area we have a number of resources to support with safeguarding. Thanks to the hard work of colleagues and trustees, updated policies will be in the members area in the coming weeks. A4Y’s current Safeguarding policy can be found here https://www.action4youth.org/policies-and-accounts/
NSPCC are industry experts when it comes to safeguarding. They have a free online assessment tool to take voluntary organisations through https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/safeguarding-child-protection/voluntary-community-groups. For local for organisations working with young people based in Buckinghamshire, the Buckinghamshire Safeguarding partnership is where you can report a concern about a child and find helpful resources for your role.
If listening is more for you; this short podcast reframes the term neglect. Whilst the discussion is amongst safeguarding professionals it is thought-provoking for staff and volunteers working with young people on identifying potential neglect and how it challenges our views of what it looks like.
Next session for members is Thursday 27th February and has very limited spaces remaining. To book on please email [email protected]
Even if you are not directly involved in delivery to young people, safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. If you have concerns as a neighbour, member of the community you should report it to ensure that families get the support they need and in turn so do the children.
When we put this in place we ensure that we are best equipped to support the young people in our communities.
Virtual roundtable to support youth work in Buckinghamshire
The pandemic has had a huge impact on the lives of young people in Buckinghamshire and highlighted the importance of youth work provision in supporting the needs of young people.
To help build a resilient youth sector providing high-quality support in the county, Community Impact Bucks is hosting a virtual roundtable for youth not-for-profit organisations in Buckinghamshire on 18th January 2022 (1-3pm).
Held in partnership with the Rothschild Foundation and Action4Youth, Virtual Roundtable to support Youth Work in Buckinghamshire is relevant to anyone (paid/unpaid) who is involved with youth work (primary ages to 25) for charities, community groups or social enterprises that deliver services in Buckinghamshire.
Attendees will gain an insight into the National Youth Agency’s Youth Work Principles, discuss the challenges and opportunities in Buckinghamshire’s youth sector, and provide information on how the Youth Work Principles fit into our Strategic Fund and how to address them in an application.
To find out more and to book your free space on Tuesday 18th January (1pm -3pm), go to https://lnkd.in/d8fR6AaR