intouch• APRIL 2008
intouch• APRIL 2008
Partnershipiskey toextended services
, extended services advisor
The first meeting of the extended servicesreference group took place in February. Madeup of representatives from YMCAs, 4Children,ContinYou and statutory organisations, the groupmade excellent progress.
Discussions on the day concentrated on thechallenge of designing sustainable extended serviceprogrammes – and we also looked at what supportYMCAs need to address these challenges.
The group felt that:
•It is vital to establish trust between schoolmanagement teams and YMCAs•YMCAs must identify the unique selling points thatmake them best suited to providing extendedservices•YMCAs must be strategically placed to contributefully to the development of activities and services•YMCAs must form partnerships with key playersto identify gaps in provision•Head teachers will always want evidence ofhow extended services will impact on meetingtheir targets
After school activities at West Bromwich YMCA
Young people getactivein politics
, participation project coordinator
More than 140 young people came to Claim Your Voice events in its first year, and we are lookingfor more YMCAs to take part in 2008.
The project now operates in the Midlands, SouthWest and North West regions. We are looking for moreyoung people in those areas to sign up for free trainingresidentials, which will take place in May and June2008. Places are limited so please book soon.Young people who participated in the project in 2007went on to host events attended by MPs and represent-atives from the police, Racial Equality and local council.Claim Your Voice is a three-year ElectoralCommission funded project that aims to increase thepolitical participation of young people aged 16 to 25who are involved with local YMCAs. The project offersyoung people the opportunity to get involved throughtraining residentials, local events and workshops.If you are interested and would like to find out more,please contact me: email@example.com 020 7061 3325.www.claimyourvoice.org.uk
Pilotproject giveshopeto youngpeople in prison
, project worker
We recently ran a successful pilot xl club at HerMajesty’s Young Offenders Institute Wetherby in West Yorkshire. The pilot was the first xl clubto have been successfully run in a secureestablishment.
Prince’s Trust xl clubs target young people facingdifficulties in education. Deliberately informal, the clubsseek to re-engage and motivate young people. Clubmembers learn to take responsibility, develop socialskills and enjoy the benefits of teamwork.Out of 16 young people identified as individuals whocould benefit from the course, eight were selected totake part. All but two of the group stayed on until theend, one of these was released early and the othertransferred to another institute.The group set their own ground rules and timetable,and chose the topics they wanted to look at. Althoughinitially wary of each other, by the end of the six weeksthey worked well as a group – supporting and lookingout for each other.Working toward their bronze ASDAN award, thegroup decided to design a leaflet for young peoplenew to the prison system. The excellent user-friendlyintroduction was taken up by the induction staff atWetherby, which they now hand out to new inmates.Over the weeks I learnt a lot about the young people.They were fun to be with and worked hard – nothing likethe bad stories I’d heard from other areas of the prison.Those that are still here when the next course startswant to take their silver ASDAN award.Staff from YMCA England’s Offenders Services Unitwill be at National Assembly in April, and we are happyto talk about our work and how your YMCA can getinvolved. Look out for the team at coffee breaks!www.prisonsunit.ymca.org.uk
The clubs seek to re-engageand motivate young people.
Southampton YMCA Claim Your Voice team
, head of direct marketing and legacies
We’ve been busy over the last few monthsraising awareness of the work of the YMCA, andcelebrating its achievements. Homelessness is stilla key focus for appeals, but recent communicationwith existing and potential supporters hashighlighted our work in prisons and Step-In youth homelessness project.
Last September we wrote to supporters asking theirviews on young people and offending behaviour. Theresponse was very positive in terms of both quantityand quality. We receivedmore than 2,000 responses,with the great majority ofsupporters expressingoptimism about the futureprospects of young ex-offenders. See the chart,right, for details.Recently we also expandedour FreshStart supporternewsletter, allowing us toshare more YMCA storieswith supporters. The March2008 issue featuresselected highlights from YMCAs across the countryincluding Sunderland, Guildford and Eastbourne.To order your copy contactCharlene Vallory, direct marketing officer,firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7061 3331.
We have received more than 160 letters fromsupporters in response to our January RoomSponsorsupdate. Updates are sent quarterly and includepersonal letters from RoomSponsor residents.Here’s an extract from a letter received from a supporterin response to a progress update from Oliver, the youngperson she supports through monthly donations:‘I was thrilled to learn how Oliver has continuedto develop and grow in confidence, and is clearlydetermined to make the most of all the opportunitieswith which he has been provided. I express myadmiration for all that you do to enhance the livesof the young people who come to you for help.I’m delighted to be associated with it.’
SUPPORTERSURVEY : Young people and offending
With the right support, do you believe a young person thathas committed a crime can turn their life around?
By addressing young people’s spiritual and physical needsare vulnerable young people less likely to turn to crime?
Did you know that YMCA work with young offenderssignificantly reduces re-offending?
The main conclusion drawn at the meeting washow important it is to build relationships and work inpartnership with key organisations, such as schools.
Coming soon –
the full results of a mappingexercise undertaken into existing YMCA provision of extended services.