Action4Youth September Newsletter 2022

A Message from Jenifer Cameron

The beginning of September brings a distinct change of workload as the hectic summer of outdoor education, adventure clubs and the NCS programme give way to those programmes which are delivered in schools; autumn NCS delivered in the special schools, The Inspiration and Breakout Programmes. This academic year we are delighted to be working again with those schools which have been our partners for years as well as launching a number of new partnerships across Bucks, Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire.

It is a busy month too for our Board of Trustees with an external review of performance to ensure all possible is being achieved and the highest standards maintained. Our AGM comes later this month, and we will be thanking Trustee Nigel Field who is stepping down. Nigel will be much missed but leaves with the grateful thanks of the Board and team for all of his support in recent years.

The Junction

August saw the continuation of The Junctions Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF) with a total of 75 free meals provided to young people over the 4-week period.

The 3 most popular activities were:

1.         Mixed Martial Arts (Provided by Gods of War)
2.         Cooking
3.         Arts and Crafts

We also held an extremely successful Open/Fun Day outside the library at the start of the month. We engaged with the local community and promoted the Junction, by providing free fun and games, refreshments, and had a disco set up for the music – the balloon modeller was kept very busy! A massive thank you to John Lewis & Partners for providing the funding.

Numbers have increased this month with a total of 757 visits, with the start of school next month, we are anticipating a return to pre-summer numbers.

The Junction also saw the completion of our 6-week programme in support of Ukrainian Refugees, providing a programme of various events, from arts and crafts to outdoor games at the Rye, we had a total of 14 visits during this period.

We have kicked off September by undertaking Outreach work where we will try to improve the visibility of the Junction to young people and have identified the Eden Shopping Centre and the Rye as our first ports of call.

We have contacted local schools via email to promote the project and request attendance at school assemblies/lunch clubs.

Finally, The Junction and Eden Library welcomes Author Juanita Headley on the 22nd of September. She will be delivering a workshop session on human trafficking and exploitation. For more information, please contact Ayobami or Paul.

Counselling at The Junction

Kate* is one of our young people attending the Junction, she is approaching the end of counselling and reported that this has helped her in many ways. Kate stated the below:

“Counselling makes me feel happier in myself, more able to do things on daily basis and I’m more sociable and confident now. It helped me speak more about how I feel, and open-up easily.”

We offer between 6-18 counselling sessions at The Junction to young people aged 12-18 and up to 25 for SEND. Our service is free of charge, and we usually see the young person at a specific day and time weekly, which is arranged between the counsellor and the young person. We also offer drop-ins to those who prefer to have a one-off session/chat. Feel free to get in touch with us to learn more about counselling. We currently have available slots.

* Name has been changed to maintain confidentiality

The Inspiration Programme

The Inspiration Programme is flourishing, we have been busy over the summer both planning for our full delivery model, and delivering training for the self-delivery model. It is exciting to continue to grow this inspiring programme to so many more young people. This year we have more schools on board with increasing numbers of young people gaining from The Inspiration Programme. With the fantastic support of local businesses, we are collaborating with new schools in the South and North of Buckinghamshire and branching out into Northamptonshire. As well as retaining schools across Bucks.

Our thanks go out to our current supporters who have overall managed to book our schools into their busy diaries for our sessions right through to July 2023. It makes an enormous difference to the planning process when we can get this done over the summer months.

A trip provider recently asked me where I get my energy from, and for me it is always the young people, using one of their phrases I would say it is ‘an energy exchange’. The image below is from one of our last trips of the summer term to Waddesdon Manor estate. We have booked in all our trips to Waddesdon Manor estate for 2022/23 in the school planners.

We look forward to working with the young people, schools, and our partners again this academic year.

Mentoring Programme

At the end of August five more young people have come to the end of their mentoring, with each young person engaging in 10-15 sessions each. The mentoring is tailored to each individual and the goals the young person wants to reach. This may be support with mental health, behaviour that challenges, educational attainment, or self-confidence.

Taylor*, is a year 11 boy, who was referred by his school due to challenges with low attendance and concerns of him becoming NEET. Throughout the mentoring Taylor was given a space to talk about his past and how the grief of losing his father has affected his mental health and school attendance. Throughout the mentoring Taylor was supported with transport to and from GCSE exams, walks out in nature to talk about his thoughts and feelings and a trip to the cinema for a positive and social experience. Taylor managed to sit all his exams and successfully got a place at college. Taylor is now excited for his future at college and feels ready to take on a new challenge. Taylor commented that mentoring helped him feel more positive about life and he liked having someone to talk to.

*Name changed for safeguarding purposes.

Membership

Whilst the summer holidays were a quieter time for some member organisations, many of them were at full capacity supporting young people through the long break from school. September brings a fresh start and new young people.

We enjoyed reading the nominations for Outstanding Youth Work Award and seeing the incredible contributions individuals are making to youth organisations and in turn the young people. The winner will be announced at the Big Night Out held at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre on 27th September. A warm gratitude to everyone who took the time to recognise the champions of their organisation.

Members view

Buckingham and Winslow Young Carers had a great day out at the Caldecotte Xperience with the young people taking part in activities such as watersports and climbing. They had great feedback about the instructors. To find out more what they provide for young carers see here:

To plan an exciting day or residential for your youth group use the contact form here:

Training

It’s essential that everyone who works or volunteers with children or young people has the knowledge and skills needed to help keep them safe. Safeguarding should be part of your induction process for all new staff and volunteers, whatever the role, responsibilities, and whichever sector you work in. This is guidance from the NSPCC and should be implemented in your organisation.

We are here to support your safer recruitment practices. Several DBS checks are included in your membership, safeguarding and other relevant policies can be found in the members area. However, it is training which really helps an individual to understand signs of abuse and how to respond. Safeguarding Essentials is for those who may have limited knowledge with Safeguarding Refresher exploring how to recognise child exploitation.

The recommendation is for a refresher 2-3 years, and it is great to see people attending the open sessions. Book on:
https://www.action4youth.org/youth-groups/training/

Members below commit to an annual Safeguarding refresher with content shaped bespoke to their needs. Join them and enquire about a session for your organisation by contacting [email protected]

Fundraising

Action4Youth are benefitting from a series of virtual fundraising events organised by Virtual Running, and we invite our friends and supporters to take part this Autumn!

Virtual running works exactly the same as any other type of running, but the difference is that the entered race can be run at any location, at any pace, inside on a treadmill or outside. All you have to do is enter a race and provide evidence that you have done it. Virtual races are a great way to stay fit and active all year round, run for Action4Youth and get awesome medals for your participation!

By joining either the Halloween 5K, Halloween Hustle or the 2022 Challenge you’ll be helping to support Action4Youth as 20% off your entry fee is donated to us. The Halloween events will be a great excuse to put on your Halloween costume and have some fun with your children or work colleagues too!

We invite you to raise funds to support Action4Youth by setting up a JustGiving page and encouraging your friends and family to sponsor your race day and training.

The suggested minimum fundraising target is £100 for the Halloween 5k and Halloween Hustle and £222 for the 2022 challenge…

Find out more here:

 

Thank you!

We are grateful to those partners sponsoring our Big Night Out, then add the logos for NHBC, Centre MK, Alexander&Co, The Rectory Foundation, Stoke Park and John Lewis as we had in the last newsletter.

 

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