It’s not even the weekend and I’m shattered already! It’s been a busy week with lots of variety as usual, ranging from starting the induction process for one of our new Positive Activities for Children Co-ordinators, going through budgets to prepare for the financial year end, meeting and going through our provision Positive Activities for Young People (PAYP), looking at the discussion about Accreditation and target driven youth work that Mike and Jon (amongst others) have been having online, linking with our web editor for our youth website to highlight and prioritise our work, supporting some of our staff who are experiencing personnel issues, getting involved in the handover for the manager that’s leaving one of the Outdoor Education centres I’m responsible for, as well as getting ready for the Inspire India Taster Weekend we are delivering this weekend for 38 young people from targeted backgrounds. And that’s only some of it!!!! So….I may not be quite on top of the online ball but hope to be posting more after the weekend.
Archive for February, 2009
I’ve finally got the chance to write about the amazing residential weekend we had a couple of weekends ago. As I mentioned in a recent post, we’re putting together a targeted youth support programme for young people which includes an overseas experience in India run in conjunction with Raleigh. To that end we were up really nice and early the other weekend to meet at Cobnor to put a group of 14 staff from across West Sussex County Council through their paces. Our aim – to find 5 people who could lead, facilitate and develop the group of 30 young people that will be taking part in the programme. Here is a snippet of what they went through.
The weekend was a great success and we found our 5 staff. Other unexpected outcomes was the positivity everyone experienced working across different services. We had people from the Youth Offending Service, Family Link workers, Social Workers, Voluntary Youth Services and more and they all fed back that they had enjoyed the chance to work together as a team on practical tasks during which they got to know and understand work with young people from a different perspective. Definately food for thought as we move forward with integrated services! It’s the young peoples Taster Weekend next and then that’s me done for a while on residentials……..hopefully I can then refocus on the day job!!
I had a meeting with our new DofE, Accreditation and Outdoor Education Manager today as part of their induction as the stragtegic direction for accreditation and Recorded Outcomes fall under my remit. It was a really good meeting (or at least I hope so!). When I was preparing for the meeting I went back over the West Sussex Youth Service guide to Accreditation that I put together just under 2 years ago. (Wow! Doesn’t time fly!) I know that there is a lot of debate around accredited outcomes and I have joined in a few. Jon Jolly is currently doing some research for his dissertation on Outcome Based Youth work, if you have the time to help out he has a very quick questionaire to fill in and would really appreciate it.
Overall however I’m positive about accredited and recorded outcomes, especially when they are built into youth work programmmes from the outset and are a product of the process. I think the difficulty is in picking the appropriate scheme for the work you’re doing and looking at different ways in which you can evidence work rather than through written portfolios. This is something I have asked our incoming manager to review and see where else we need to develop our guidance and support to youth workers.
This is also where I think that digital media can come into it’s own….I’m just figuring out the what and hows so that we can then roll out some supporting training for our staff. In particular I think there are 2 online platforms that could support Recorded Outcomes, these are Dipity with an example here of the Worthing Youth Mayors year and a newer one that I haven’t yet had a chance to explore more Capzles. So what do you think? Are there any particular online platforms you would recommend for this type of work?
Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while will have guessed by now that I am passionate about young peoples development through using International experiences.
To this end I have been putting together a year long Targeted Youth Support Programme with a bit of a difference, hopefully. Aimed at young people aged 16-19yrs who fall within our targeted groups and working across children and young peoples services in West Sussex the Inspire India Programme seeks to empower young people and support them to make choices and recognise their own skills & abilities. It will consist of six phases:-
Phase 1 – Recruitment of 30 young people and five staff from West Sussex
Phase 2 – Preparation and training of young people in all aspects of the programme
Phase 3 – Overseas Experience to India
• Personal Development
• Arts Programme (Cultural)
• Global / Development Education
• Community Volunteering Project
• Adventure / Challenge Project
Phase 4 – Volunteering in the community post expedition
On return each young person will be supported to engage in a volunteering placement and gain accreditation for this through the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme. We hope to be working with Outset Youth Action, Locality Youth Forums and the European Voluntary Services scheme to access and support placements for young people from the programme. Alternatively the young people may want to lead and develop their own volunteering projects and would be supported to access funding to implement them. (eg. Vcashpoint, Youth Opportunity Fund etc).
Phase 5 – Follow Up and Review
This is a key aspect (more…)
With wind, rain and snow taking up most of last week it was with some trepidation that I could be seen heading out last Saturday night to help out on the Charlton Chase.
This is an all night navigation exercise (depending on skills!) for young people from across West Sussex which has been run annually by the County Youth Service since 1981.
The support base is at Seaford College (and our thanks to them their continuing help in providing this) and takes place over open country so young people need to be physically fit, able to navigate at night, have a basic knowledge of first aid, hill walking and be able to look after themselves in adverse conditions. The course consists of six main checkpoints at which the teams can gain points for the completion of exercises designed to test their teamwork and initiative. This year, even with the weather we had over 320 young people taking part (!) in eighty teams and over 100 volunteers supporting the event.
A big congratulations and thank you needs to go to colleagues who put a tremendous amount of hard work and effort into this, from the co-ordination and administration of teams, to sourcing volunteers to man checkpoints, to working out where the routes will go, to working on the night. And the main thanks must go to our Duke of Edinburghs Award, Outdoor Education and Accreditation Manager who (amazingly) oversees all bases and keeps it all together in the run up and on the night (in conjunction with the day job!)