A Network of Regional Youth Work Units, in England, collaborating across regions to promote good youth work and young people’s voices.
Many of us who work with young people can see the huge potential that London has to offer, but have been frustrated at the lack of a common approach and agenda for ensuring that all young people are able to make the most of our city.
In January 2015 we bought together for the first time a diverse range of voices drawn from formal and informal education, London local and regional government, funders, providers of arts and sports opportunities to young people, and other voluntary sector groups to try and identify some common goals and aspirations.
The process was very invigorating, with over 40 organisations combining to debate and develop a vision statement, as a starting point to getting clarity and a shared approach. In a context of significant funding challenges, and new and acute issues facing some young people, it was heartening that everyone recognised the value in us working collectively to offer support, challenge and enhance provision.
The first draft is based on the workings of this wide group. We don’t at all pretend to be completely representative of everyone working with young people – which is why we want organisations to share this document, comment on it and seek feedback.
We deliberately didn’t set out to make it a young people’s vision – it is driven first and foremost by those of us who work with or support those who work with young people, in a huge range of settings, every day. But of course it is absolutely vital that young people should see something positive for them in this vision. So we’re asking groups to share it with young people, youth advisory boards and others to solicit responses and constructive engagement.
No-one pretends it will be easy – to even create a shared vision will be a challenge, never mind implementing and bringing it to life. But it feels like we have made a good start, and with further input we can have something that people can genuinely sign up to and make a reality.
Please do contact any of our organisations if you have comments or questions. We’ll be spending some months consulting and finessing, then bringing people together again after the summer.
Watch this space for details.
David Warner, Director, London Funders
Rosie Ferguson, Chief Executive, London Youth
Sharon Long, Director, Partnership for Young London