A Message from Jenifer Cameron
Last week I was part of a really interesting conversation which is part of some research work being undertaken by the Rothschild Foundation around youth work and the needs of young people in our area.
A part of the discussion considered how organisations, charities, develop their strategies and plan funding bids. Very disappointingly, the view around the table, and something I’ve seen very often, was that many organisations chase funding and build their work plans around the funding they secure whether or not that work is especially relevant to the needs of local young people, the skills of the organisation or even what other work is being done in the area.
Funders can influence the work being undertaken by targeting funding but the real responsibility lies with the organisations themselves to identify need and then, if they have appropriate skills, to seek funding to meet that need. Our sector needs to put our young people and their needs first and always. Just securing funding to keep ourselves in jobs and keeping our organisations going is not justifiable indeed it is disgraceful.
Too often I’ve heard it said that, “This organisation has existed for x years and must continue”. That’s just plain wrong. No charity must continue or has any right to its existence beyond that it is achieving its purpose in an efficient way. We should all be looking to achieve the greatest good and the most efficiency possible.
Recently I was shocked and dismayed when on two separate occasions people I had just met, on hearing that I work for a charity, made disparaging remarks about charities. I’ve been in this sector long enough to remember when those in the charity sector commanded respect. Now, it seems that is not automatically the case and we have to ask if we’ve brought this on ourselves? Are too many in our sector just chasing money to keep our organisations in business and ourselves in jobs?
Counselling @ The Junction
Oliver*, one of our Counselling Service users at The Junction, was skeptical about counselling and was wondering whether it will help him overcome his anxiety and fears. He decided to give it a go. After completing 3 counselling sessions so far, Oliver said that although he thought counselling will not help him, he can already witness the positive outcomes on his life where he is now facing his fears. He added that he used to avoid many things in life, which left him feeling that he is unable to do so much that others can do without any difficulty. Oliver also stated that his fears stopped him from taking part in many activities he used to enjoy. Oliver now seeks opportunities to try many things he previously avoided and is experiencing the joy of his achievements! He is glad he started counselling to help him achieve such outcomes.
* Name has been changed to maintain confidentiality
AP’s NCS Journey
AP began their journey with us on the Summer NCS programme, with her wave located in Aylesbury. Throughout the first day on programme at our Caldecotte Xperience, AP was reluctant at first to take part in any of the climbing activities but overcame her fear and pushed herself to give it a try, which resulted in a huge sense of achievement. AP was very shy at first, but she was always cheering on her team members and was a point of support and reassurance for several the team, despite her own fear of the challenges across the day.
As the week went on and the group were assigned their charity, the Oasis Partnership, AP was extremely passionate about the cause and how to benefit the charity in the best way.
The Oasis Partnership provide high quality social and psychological support services to improve people’s health and wellbeing. They provide support to people of all ages and offer a range of services to benefit many and diverse communities, specifically helping those that suffer from substance abuse.
AP helped to brainstorm ideas with her team and prepare for the Lion’s Lair presentation. Throughout the presentation, although initially reserved, she came out of her shell, answering the Lion’s questions, thoroughly explaining the budget and overall plan for their fundraiser in a situation she would have not spoken up in just days before.
To read the full case study please visit our News & Blog section on the Action4Youth Website.
The Inspiration Programme
As part of our Community and Environment Pillar of The Inspiration Programme, young people in schools across Buckinghamshire are looking at their personal Carbon footprint. They write three targets for themselves to improve their own impact on the environment, as well as discussing the Paris agreement. The young people as a result regularly question local government about their policies to improve the environment. We had Rob Butler attend one school session last year when young people challenged him with their questions on improvements to the carbon footprint on Aylesbury.
With the upcoming COP21 Glasgow in November, we have been looking at the latest resources and challenges available to get involved in. The more young people we can motivate to improve their environment the better.
We are told we have a decade to make the necessary changes for the impact to make a difference to the planet we leave for future generations. If we all get on board anything is possible. The Inspiration Programme will be promoting the Count us in Campaign, as well as encouraging young people and their families to get involved. How can you do this with your groups and encourage others to make sure we think differently about our planet and promote the actions we can take to safeguard it for future generations.
For those of you needing more information please see the link below and watch the video from Prince William as well as looking at the programme Earth shot prize screening on a Sunday evening– Action to repair the earth – https://youtu.be/J7A7tTn-VOw
Other links of use –
https://youtu.be/boVFAVqOJPk – A message from David Attenborough, https://ukcop26.org/ – Tells you about the conference taking place in Glasgow in November with tabs for information and resources for schools and groups.
#OneStepGreener – https://together-for-our-planet.ukcop26.org/onestepgreener/ – Whether big or small, one or many, green steps around the country can culminate in a large collective impact in helping make Britain a more sustainable and greener place.
Good Luck with your actions.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award
On 2nd & 3rd October, Burnham Grammar school students completed their Bronze DofE with Caldecotte Xperience.
It was a tough assessment due to poor weather conditions. Our assessor Tom kept a smile on his face all day to encourage the students to press onwards.
One of the groups had gone very off track from their planned route, but luckily due to our new location trackers supplied to all DofE groups, our assessors were able to locate the group & set them back on track. With some encouraging words from assessors Bruce & Tom the group went on to pass their Bronze DofE assessment.
Both Tom & Bruce were very happy to be able to pass all the students that weekend and commended all for preserving in such poor weather conditions.
Training & Membership
We had 13 volunteers from three member organisations attend Safeguarding last week. Many were attending as a refresher and brought their vast experience to the discussions and others were starting out volunteering at their youth club.
What do people say about our safeguarding training?
“I’m aware of what’s out there and the challenges / influences young people face – I feel more informed to help deal with whatever comes my way”
“Very interactive and informative training. Great trainer who was very knowledgeable”
If you would like to book on training on Thursday 4th November please book online here https://www.action4youth.org/event/safeguarding-essentials-thursday-4th-november-2021/
Should you have 6 or more volunteers in your organisation wishing to attend then please complete the form here https://forms.office.com/r/SMvEj60KDe . We can shape the content to meet the needs of your staff and volunteers.
We look forward to seeing you.
Amersham Youth hired sumo suits and circus equipment for a recent event at club and had a great time with their own sumo competition!
As a member you can hire all kinds of equipment from sumo suits to a bouncy bed suitable for inside or outdoor use. Simply complete this form https://forms.office.com/r/FDyAnFHG3W and let us know when you would like to collect it. The cost is subsidised to ensure that this isn’t a barrier to providing your young people with a fun experience. For any queries please contact [email protected]
Tesco Community Grants Scheme – In Store Vote
We are thrilled our application to the Tesco Community Grants Scheme has been successful and we have been put forward to the customer vote in local stores. If you are visiting Tesco stores around High Wycombe, Bourne End, Stokenchurch or Leighton Buzzard please vote for us