A Network of Regional Youth Work Units, in England, collaborating across regions to promote good youth work and young people’s voices.
Having survived what is locally and somewhat affectionately now known as the Toon Flood the other month, our Regional Youth Work Unit here in the North East has been bristling with activity this summer despite the bad weather.
From a residential trip to the wilderness of Cumbria and a flash mob on the iconic Newcastle Quayside, through to some insightful research into what young people really think about youth unemployment, not to mention the transformation of an old police house thrown into the mix – lots has been going on across all of our programmes.
There’s not enough space to cram everything into this post, but here’s a flavour of what the team here in the North East have been getting up to…
NE-Generation, the Legacy Trust UK regional programme for the North East, inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, is in the throes of preparing for its Collective Showcase on 1-2 September. The event is the culmination of all its 15 funded projects and promises to be a rich, diverse and inspiring collection of work by local young people and practitioners.Space Invaders, one of NE-Generation’s Cultural Innovation Funded Projects, held an Open House event last weekend which garnered lots of regional press coverage. The building – a derelict Old Police House in Gateshead – was transformed by eight young people in just eight weeks. The rooms, including a jungle room and a mad hatter’s tea party, all showcased the creative talents of the Space Invaders team and were met with great response from the public.
Truth About Youth
Truth About Youth – North East is the Co-operative Foundation’s three year project in Tyne and Wear. The team has been focussing on intergenerational work – playing host to a 50s themed Jubilee Party in June and a residential trip to Brathay in Cumbria. Both events helped younger and older generations to mix and challenge their perceptions of one another.
To mark the anniversary of the riots on Saturday 4 August, Truth About Youth took part in national event 1Day which also took place in six other regions. The team secured a coveted spot at the city’s Bridges Festival and set up a fun fair themed stall with a hook the duck quiz, graffiti artist and smash the stereotype coconut shies. They also led a flash mob, which got young people dancing along to The Who track My Generation, cheered on by 100 spectators.
Helping 16-25 year olds find the spaces they need, to do the things they love – Cultural Olympiad project somewhereto_ continues to make its mark.
Just this week, our coordinator Neil headed to London with several young people in tow for Arts in Parliament, a programme of unique performances and exhibitions celebrating artistic talent from across the UK.
Local young performers, including Anna Leigh & the Kings, who have been involved with somewhereto_ in the region also had the fantastic opportunity of performing at the Olympic Park on Monday. Be sure to check out the RYWU-NE’s news page for updates on both events.
North East Youth Network
Our North East Youth Network have been a busy bunch, featuring on BBC radio, visiting the Houses of Parliament and rubbing shoulders with David Miliband, no less.
Peer Coordinator Katy has been busy gathering opinions and views from almost 250 young people on the issue of youth unemployment. The research collated will help to inform a wider campaign called Reducing the Gap, which will be debated and ironed out at a residential involving young people next month.As previously mentioned, members from the Network also met with politician David Miliband at the North East Youth Jobs Summit in July along with other key business and local authority movers and shakers to raise the profile of, and gain support for, the Reducing the Gap campaign.
My Mind Matters
My Mind Matters, a collaboration between the RYWU-NE and Tyneside Mind, and funded by Comic Relief, is a three year project that began last year.
The training has adopted an innovative approach – having been written and developed by 10 young people. It’s designed for youth workers and other professionals who work with young people and aims to help them to recognise the signs and symptoms of common mental health conditions, give them the resources to deal with these conditions and educate them about referral routes and self-help strategies.
So far the training has received great feedback and two further sessions scheduled for later this month sold out within days, proving how pertinent this issue is in within our sector.
In other news…
We’re always looking for something new to get our teeth into and over the next three months we’ll be working with Hartlepool Borough Council to support the development of their integrated youth offer for young people in the port town.
Our team of experienced practitioners and managers will be imparting their pearls of wisdom; consulting and engaging with the voluntary sector and local authority youth workers, as well as young people.
So what do we hope to achieve? The desired outcome is a ‘mixed economy’ of provision which will see all the aforementioned stakeholders working together to create a truly integrated youth offer in the borough.
We’re also hoping that this work will spawn other projects where we can share best practice and support similar developments in other local authorities.
Watch this space for updates on this project and all of our other programmes, and take a look at this video for a snapshot of what we do:
Regional Youth Work Unit – North East.