Ok – I’ve decided that I need to somehow order my China inputs so I’ll just number the updates from now on. (unimaginative I know but hey…at least there’ll be some sort of order!).
Well, we’re going!! Last week I had to make a call as to whether to book flights or re-reserve them and have to pay a much higher price so I decided that we would take a risk and book them. I let our China contacts know and they quickly came back confirming the dates are ok. Still some queries on the programme (even more so as they’ve added a “tour of the mountain using ropework”!) however it looks like they have taken on board our request that the young people share 2 to a room and this will also happen on the homestay they are offering us. WoW! When I visited 2 years ago homestays were not an option so it’ll be fascinating to see how we get on.
The road to the Great Wall
We’ve had our Information Evening for friends, family and supporters which, although we tried hard not to make it doom and gloom, gave a realistic picture of what we may experience over there. (Transport, Accomodation etc) In doing this, and in making sure that everyone has a hard copy, we hope that people will be able to give informed consent. It’s things like everyone knowing that the coach we’ll use out there won’t have seat belts and the driving standards are different to ours so that they can decide if they are happy with that level of risk.
We’ve got our young people’s preparation residential this weekend coming which will be great fun (of course :) ) and hopefully will give the group an insight into themselves, who they are, what culture is and also heaps of media stuff. With luck I’ll be reporting back with photos and video blogs etc as this is a key part of our work with the group. (Of course, now that we’ve been inspired!) I’ll let you know how it goes…..
Yep, the MediaSnackers training has persuaded Steve Humphries to start his own blog! I’m really looking forward to hearing more about Steves’ experiences as he works in a part of the youth service which provides targeted and intensive youth support to individual young people, and as such, has a slightly different perspective on youth work to those involved in traditional centre based youth work.
And so our community grows!!!! Here’s to the next Statutory Youth Work Blogger……
For those of you who haven’t picked it up yet Hazel Blears is blogging this week here on Communities and Local Government. An interesting exercise where she is looking for information and feedback on the Communities in Control, real people, real power (white paper).
I’ve been very interested to see the white paper and in particular to note what has been written concerning young people. There is an element that I am confused by in the statement in 4.19 where it states that
“The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) has provided discrete funding for young people to control – the Youth Opportunity Fund and the Youth Capital Fund. These funds will enable local authorities to develop new approaches to strategic investment in youth activities and facilities, particularly in deprived areas.”
As a local authority managing the YOF & YCF we have worked extremely hard to ensure that the funding has gone to grassroots level and engages with as many young people as possible. To this extent we have 24 young people led forums which are true to the nature of the fund where young people have the responsibility for bidding into and allocating such funding. What I am confused by is the second part of the statement concerning the use of such funds to strategically invest in youth activities and facilities? This leads to some interesting conversations concerning who has control of such funding and how we involve young people in making decisions that are truely theirs or token only? Or indeed how do we influence and encourage them to make strategic decisions? It just leads me to wonder whether there is a true and clear understanding of how these funds are managed across the country.
I was also interested in the section about Empowering Young People . It (more…)
This week I went to the Youth Work 4 Health conference held by the National Youth Agency in Brighton. It was an interesting day with a lot of discussion about how you can use the Youth Work 4 Health (YW4H) good practice guidelines within different youth settings.
“Good youth work has always sought to improve the physical and emotional health of young people and many projects are working, directly or indirectly, on health issues. The aim of these Guidelines is to provide a tool to enable individual workers, youth service managers in the public and voluntary sectors, commissioning bodies and partners to assess the quality and effectiveness of this work.”
Stemming from the Healthy Schools age
nda there has been the realisation that it is hard to apply the Healthy Schools standards to the wide variety of settings found in youth work and that consequently a new set of guidelines are needed. The people attending were from a wide range of backgrounds (Yout Offending Services, Drug and Alcohol Reduction Teams, Voluntary Sector, Housing Associations etc. ) which led to some
interesting discussions about how youth services in all their guises often reach young people who are seen as ‘hard to reach’ by other agencies and that because of this how we worked with young people around health was important.
I was particularly interested to see how (more…)
Since I last posted about China here all had been very quiet so I was beginning to worry about how much off the cuff we were going to end up having to work. We have almost got the group of young people together, all aged between 16-19yrs with an interest in youth participation, and truely representative of the county which is great.
At the end of last week I finally heard from the Shandong Youth Federation and namely the Youngsters Centre of Shandong Province. They have sent through an outline programme so now it is a case of trying not to get too bogged down in Risk Assessments but still ensuring that we have everything covered. (As well as trying to work out how we can / will use social media to support this!)
One of the key difficulties is in trying to understand what is being said in the communications. For instance at the moment the Chinese are keen for us to come earlier in October than we have suggested as it the “Picking Festival of fruits and vegetables” in the place they are suggesting we can stay. The description of the location sounds like a cross between an outdoor centre and an agricultural college….at least that’s how I’ve interpreted it so far. Then there are a lot of cultural visits suggested however I know that when we visited one of the most interesting parts was the discussions and interactions with people, especially young people at the universities and the technical college we went to. So – I need to work out how to politely suggest a bit of an alteration to the programme without being rude and also find out more about the Picking Festival!
Still – how exciting that it is all looking like it might happen….two years in the making but I think we will be able to do some really great youth work with the preparation for the visit, the visit itself and then hopefully hosting a return group next year!