A Network of Regional Youth Work Units, in England, collaborating across regions to promote good youth work and young people’s voices.
Impact is a recurring theme in all the work that we do. Here at the Regional Youth Work Unit – North East our overarching aim is to ‘improve the lives of young people in the North East’ but how can we ensure that the work we do is actually achieving this? And how can we effectively measure or track it?
Evidencing Good Youth Work
Impact is something we’ll be exploring in our regional conference at The Wynyard Rooms in Billingham next month. ‘Evidencing Good Youth Work’, which is being hosted in partnership with Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, will look at the various tools and frameworks available within our sector which demonstrate impact and improve outcomes for young people.
We have several keynote speakers lined up from The Young Foundation and Stockton-on-Tees Integrated Youth Support Service, and there will also be a series of interactive workshops that will explore topics in greater depth and provide opportunity for discussion.
The Catalyst Framework
Honing in specifically on the Catalyst Framework of Outcomes for Young People – we’re hosting a smaller seminar in Gateshead on 19 September featuring guest speaker and co-author of the Framework, Bethia McNeil. It promises to provide an invaluable insight into how the Framework could affect us all in practical terms. We’ll be micro-blogging during the seminar, so follow us on Twitter @rywune or why not watch our live webcast on Ustream!
Reducing the Gap campaign finalised
Youth unemployment continues to make the headlines, with figures showing that 1.01m 16-24 year olds were unemployed in the three months to June. Over the last three months the North East Youth Network has been gathering research from unemployed and previously unemployed young people to contribute to the development of its campaign ‘Reducing the Gap’.
The Network’s steering group headed off for an action-packed residential earlier this month to finalise what the ‘Reducing the Gap’ campaign will focus on. After undertaking a series of exercises and team-building activities, which included group discussions and a dragon’s den, not to mention a spot of rounders, the young people decided that the campaign will focus on the skills gap between businesses and schools. As for its anticipated impact, the goal is to influence government policy and in turn, improve prospects for young people in our region.
Success for NE-Generation Collective Showcase
At the time of writing up our last blog post, we were gearing up for the NE-Generation Collective Showcase – a spectacular two-day event celebrating all of its 15 funded projects. The event had it all, from fiery circus performances and live music to colourful installations and daring trial bikes. There was lots of great press coverage about the event, helping to get the message out there about the creative talents of young people in the North East.
The programme is, sadly, drawing to a close and it’s perhaps only now that we can fully appreciate the fruits of ours – and the young people’s – labours. In terms of its impact – over 11,100 young people have been directly involved with the programme. Additionally, an audience of 330,000 people have witnessed their work first-hand since its inception in 2008.
A final thought
As the dust begins to settle on NE-Generation – some of the projects it has helped to fund will continue for months or even years to come. It’s also hoped that the relationships forged between cultural organisations, youth work organisations and young people will continue to develop, too, something we are exploring through the creation of a new Charter.
Although measuring impact is important for our sector, it’s not just about this – it’s also about legacy and creating something that will, ultimately, benefit and inspire the young people of tomorrow.
Regional Youth Work Unit – North East