A message from Jenifer Cameron
Here we are in lockdown again. The days are short, the weather is uncomfortable and all of the anxieties and pressures which have accumulated in the past year are weighing ever more heavily on us. While we must hold on to the hope that vaccines will get us out of the worst circumstances, we know that many of the problems and their consequences will be with us all as a community for at least months and probably years to come.
The long term impact of the huge increase in domestic violence and abuse will live with its victims, most likely, for a lifetime. The economic impact of the pandemic will long outlive the covid threat on government, businesses and consequently jobs, and of course on the charity sector. Research suggests that a quarter of youth charities will disappear as sources of funding dry up. Need, of course, is to use the overused cliché, “spiralling out of control”. I don’t want to be the voice of doom, and those who know me would say I am more like Tigger than the grim reaper, but the situation ahead of us is very serious indeed.
My call to individuals, businesses and charitable funders is to be alert to the situation and, please, to focus your efforts and support on those causes and organisations which are forward looking and clear in their objectives to address the most compelling need. Action4Youth and many of our member organisations are front line delivery, making a positive difference every single day to the lives of the young people of our community with those in the most difficult circumstances having priority. We need your help so we can be here to help others.
Jenifer Cameron CEO – Action4Youth
The Inspiration Programme
As we see ourselves back into another lockdown, The inspiration programme is proud to adapt its current offering, to continue supporting the young people on the programme. Action4Youth are offering multiple ways to provide the programme within schools.
- Three of our registered schools are going for remote online delivery
- One school is going for a mix of online & face to face via online platforms and self-directed materials.
- Two schools are taking part in distance learning, Tracy will be sending out the guided resources to them.
All groups registered to the programme will continue with the online Xello package, exploring careers with access to video links to employee experiences in roles of interest and support with CV building.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
2020 was a mixed year for the Action4Youth DofE team, although we had to cancel our open expeditions, we were able to deliver canoe expeditions for a number of SEND schools and help other schools deliver expeditions in a Covid safe way. We also saw an increase in a number of new people registering with us so that they can continue to work towards their DofE award during lockdowns.
We are very optimistic about 2021 with both canoe and walking expeditions planned and our most exciting news is that we are now able to offer DofE to young people in Northamptonshire. Last year we discovered there is not an open award holder in that region, so we have been working with DofE to expand our provision from just Buckinghamshire.
We are now into our third lockdown, seeing school children remote learning and facility centres temporarily closed. Our Caldecotte Xperience centre is proud to be open, hosting children from vulnerable groups, delivering activities in a covid safe way.
In lighter news, we are excited to welcome our new Mobiloo to the CX centre. The Mobiloo is a unique new facility enabling all disabled children and adults to use the toilet and/or be changed with dignity and respect when they wish to attend activities across centre.
The Mobiloo has an electric hoist, a toilet, a sink, a changing table and a tail-lift. Meaning anyone, whatever the extent of their physical condition, can use the changing facilityafter taking part in our activities. Disabled people are often excluded due to lack of adequate facilities at events and centres. The Mobiloo brings dignity and underlines our fundamental belief that disabled people should be able to participate in all areas of life.
Membership & Training
As we find ourselves in another lockdown, we wanted to reassure you we are still here for our members albeit in reduced capacity. There is plenty of information on the membership area of our website https://www.action4youth.org/youth-groups/member-area/ includes the process to request a DBS check, policies and other content to support you.
The National Youth Agency continue to provide excellent guidance on what is activity is permitted in the youth sector during lockdown, links have been added here to the most recent webinar and how to locate the guidance. https://www.action4youth.org/youth-groups/
Philmore is on furlough for this period. Sarah will be working Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.
Please use [email protected] for general queries. Should you require a quicker response please call the office on 0300 003 2334 and a member of staff will help.
Online training continues to be available for your organisation during this time. We can run a session specifically for your organisation requiring a minimum of just six people. If you have individuals requiring training please register interest with [email protected] and we will be in contact when dates are released.