Blogging for and about Youth Work and Young People

Archive for September, 2009

Youth Leadership

I’ve been thinking about Youth Leadership recently due to the work I’m involved in with Targeted Youth Support, especially  the Inspire India programme.

Courtesy of Jule Berlin

Courtesy of Jule Berlin

Having been involved with the group on two weekend residentials and over a mixture of evening meetings it’s become very obvious that there are young people engaged in the project who could be future ‘leaders’. This has also come through during their time overseas in India.

With the Inspire India weekend review and volunteer planning session approaching this weekend we have been discussing how we might provide more opportunities to develop these talents. We have a Junior Youth Leadership programme that runs for young people involved in youth centres across the county which has been developed and worked on by both young people and staff. We also have opportunities within the Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme, and through our participation team where young people can get involved with the Youth Cabinet and the 24 the locality forums set up for young people to assess bids by other young people for the Youth Opportunity Fund.

It’s timely to be thinking about this with the recent launch of the National Body for Youth Leadership which has branded itself as The Youth of Today. I’m wondering whether there is something more we could be doing, particularly with our Targeted groups, to help support and encourage them in developing their leadership skills, especially with their peers. There will be a new round of funding opening at the end of this month to support innovative Youth leadership programmes. What about you? How are you developing youth leaders? Do you have any special programmes or development opportunities? How do you target young people for this or do you aim your work at everyone? Any thoughts are welcome as usual!

Inspire India Staff Review (All Phases to date)

Finished Sanitation Uit

Finished Sanitation Uit

Last night I met with the Inspire India Staff Team to review the programme to date. It was a really interesting evening with lots of discussion, laughs and challenges. We are going to put together the information to date and I will post that later on. A few thoughts though that made me think and really struck home were:-

  • We had a long discussion as to whether the lead in time ought to be longer and why. Views varied from no, the timing was right and we may have lost some of the young people if it had been longer to yes, it should be much longer so that the young people know how hard it’s going to be and will drop out if they’re not committed enough. (Even though of 30 young people who went out to India we had only 2 returns, one of whom was a late notice replacement and wasn’t entirely versed in what the scheme was about). What came through from the discussions were the ‘judgments’ being made by the staff on which young people had benefitted from the experience (regardless of what the young people themselves were saying about their learning) and how much of this was related to the staffs own values and morals.  This proved to be quite a challenging and interesting conversation and I think all of us went away still mulling over the ideas presented.
  • The young peoples’ very positive reception of the whole blogging concept (even though we had done very little prep with them on this). The groups overseas worked with young people differently but both sets of staff felt that blogging supported and gave added structure and purpose to the experience.
  • The Community aspect that came across through the blogging including some very postive affirmations for a group of young people who probably don’t receive so much praise and interest. (And the fact that it is a permenant record that they can go back to whenever they want.)
  • The challenges of working in partnership – which we inherently knew would be the case and worked hard to minimise but weren’t as successful as we would have hoped to have been.
  • And finally, that all the staff still felt that it had been one of the most challenging and developmental experiences of their careers…..and were still keen to do more!!!

Some time was also put aside to put together the young peoples’s follow up and review in a weeks time. It will be interesting meeting up with them and seeing what they think now they’re back here. They will also be choosing what they want to do for the volunteering phase and finishing off the ASDAN International Award which they have been working on.

Back into the Groove

Courtesy of Jurvetson

Courtesy of Jurvetson

Phew! What a busy summer! I’m now back after a quick holiday refreshed and ready to move forward. It’s time for a number of reviews and evaluations to look at how we might improve and develop the recent activities we’ve been delivering this summer. These kick off this evening with a staff meeting for those involved on the Inspire India programme.

With the start of a new school year I’m involved in consolidating our Service Level Agreements with the new academies in my areas, planning and developing new work and completing some of the ongoing strategy work  I’ve been working on. It all promises to be as exciting and hectic as ever but with new staff now in place I’m looking forward to being able to concentrate on more multi agency developments and less direct operational delivery.

So…..here we go……!

Tag Cloud

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.