A Message from Jenifer Cameron
Schools have gone back and we are now inching our way forward, with fingers crossed, to the easing of further restrictions. We know of the problems for young people which have been the consequence of the pandemic; the anxiety, fear, disruption to normal life, concern about exams, jobs and the future, withdrawal, loneliness, isolation and sadly, for many, bereavement. What we don’t yet understand is how quickly recovery will come and how many young people will suffer long term problems, an emotional equivalent of long covid.
Our challenge is how to address these problems and, for all organisations however expert, to discover what the remedies are and will be through trial and error. I have no doubt that very many young people, most young people, will bounce back and embrace all the opportunities available to them. But there will be some who will remain hard to reach, cocooned in their own distress.
As a community we need to find and provide the interventions which will offer the necessary support. That means organisations like Action4Youth developing new programmes and activities which will appeal to and engage even those most reluctant but it also means that funders and statutory partners need to be part of the thinking and ultimately part of the solutions. There is much talk of collaboration but it needs to be more than talk.
The Inspiration Programme
A session from The Community and Environment Pillar was delivered virtually with the Houses of Parliament. Young people from Pebble Brook school had a virtual tour of the house of commons and the house of lords. They were told how laws were made and debated. Students had their own debate around the use of electric cars giving argument for and against and then casting their vote. They were able to link this with a previous session on their carbon footprint and how we can improve the environment for the future. They voted in favour in line with the government policy on road to zero strategy.
Click here to download the research briefings
VCSE Recovery Board
At its monthly meeting on 12th March, the Bucks VCSE Recovery Board considered the issues currently of concern in the sector. A recurring theme from various organisations was concern about the legacy of Covid 19 as we emerge from restrictions. We expect mental health issues, potentially homelessness, delayed social development in young people and an increase in poverty all to be issues to be addressed in the coming months but it is difficult to prepare when there is so much uncertainty. There was also concern about the resilience of the sector and its capacity to meet the challenges ahead.
A major discussion took place on how the sector is engaging with the 16 Community Boards now operate across Bucks. A consistent comment was that each of the 16 operates in its own way which makes it challenging and time consuming for those organisations operating across larger parts or all of the county to engage effectively. The Community Boards have been operating for 8 months and will shortly be reviewed by the Council so the VCSE comments will inform that further discussion.
The Strategic Funding Group reported that it is looking at models of collaborative working from other areas as its own model continues to evolve.
The Data Dashboard project funded by The Rothschild Foundation and led by NPC is progressing and there is optimism that this will become an invaluable tool for informing strategy in the coming months and years.
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 .
We are excited to announce, our NCS summer waves are available to book now! Places are limited and early booking is advised
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
We are excited to have taken on The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Northamptonshire licence. Allowing anyone in the county to register to complete DofE with us. This will allow participants to start working on the physical, skill and volunteering modules.
Messages from our partners
NYA- National Youth Agency
The National Youth Agency hosted a webinar on 1st March to lay out guidance for youth organisations opening aligned to the Government’s roadmap. Click here to view the session on You Tube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VV12YJ_UNxo&feature=youtu.be
Written guidance will be available on their website https://nya.org.uk/ w/e 5th March.
Red Kite Community Housing – Better Futures Event
Red Kit Community Housing is hosting their first virtual event ‘Better Futures’ for 16-25 year olds. Our team will be hosting a session on the 24th March, talking about NCS and other Action4Youth initiatives.
More information can be found on their website redkitehousing.org.uk/betterfutures