Take Over Day 2015
The Children's Commissioner's Takeover Challenge - our Service Manager is getting involved...will you?
The Children's Commissioner's Takeover Challenge will take place on 20th November 2015. This opportunity gives children and young people the chance to work with adults for the day and be involved in decision-making. Young people benefit from the opportunity to experience the world of work and make their voices heard, while adults and organisations gain a fresh perspective on what they do. The day aims to break down barriers between generations and encourage young people's active involvement in their communities.
Senior staff here at Somerset County Council and lots of other organisations across the county have been really supportive of Takeover Day in previous years. Somerset Youth and Community Service are supporting members of the Somerset UK Youth Parliament group who are keen to engage with this opportunity. We are seeking adults who are willing to be joined by a young person for the day to shadow their work and engage in decision making.
If you are able to offer an opportunity, whether it is on 20th November or on another date, please contact Kate Darlington, Youth & Community Worker, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01823 349855 - or leave a comment below.
An inspirational day!
Sunday 11th October saw the Somerset Youth & Community Service Team at Taunton YMCA to support the Taunton Deane Youth Network's Youth Work Training Day. The Taunton Deane Youth Network is a group of representatives from companies and organisations who are engaged in work with young people in the Taunton Deane area. The network meets approximately four times a year to share ideas, news and expertise.
Earlier this year the network identified that there was a need for a training day. This event would allow anyone involved in work with young people to attend workshops to improve their skills and network with others working in the field. Somerset Youth and Community Service offered to support the event by coordinating the day and tutoring some of the workshops. The event was launched in July and the bookings quickly started coming in.
The day went really well with 40 people attending and a staff team delivering eight different workshop options:
- Youth worker roles & responsibilities
- Young people's voice in their communities
- Involving and developing volunteers within your youth work
- Measuring learning outcomes in youth work
- Inspiring youth work - how does your youth session buzz?
- Funding applications - top tips and common pitfalls
- Dealing with challenging behaviour
- Sex, drugs and rock n' roll - how do we get the message across?
Our Service Manager, Jeff Brown, became the hero of the day when he stepped in to write and deliver a Funding Applications workshop at a couple of hours' notice when the original trainer was unable to make it.
It was a hectic but brilliant day. A really wide range of people attended, bringing experience and knowledge from lots of perspectives. In fact for most people there, the opportunity to network with other people was one of the highlights of the day.
Responses to question "the things I most enjoyed about the event was..." included:
"Being stimulated and challenged, meeting so many amazing people and being encouraged."
"Meeting a good range of organisations and individuals who are active in youth work."
Other quotes from the feedback included...
"I thought being in a youth club just meant turning up, I hadn't realised quite what a difference we make and how much support is out there."
Thank you for organising the event - well planned and executed. Big pat on the back!"
Project Support Officer - Youth & Community email@example.com
Safe and Welcoming Congratulations!
I'm happy to say we have recently awarded the Safe and Welcoming Benchmark to Stogursey Youth Club, Tatworth Community Youth Club and, today, Windmill Hill Youth Club in Glastonbury. It's lovely to be able to publicly recognise the hard work of these clubs, being safe for their young people and valued by them too.
I currently have about another 20 portfolios nearing completion and am hoping to be able to blog again about more awards soon. Huzzah!Kirstie Brown Youth and Community Officer
Hello The Charltons...
I visited the Charltons Youth Club last night and had a lovely time. It's a great club, there was food, a treasure hunt and young people doing their 'Safe and Welcoming' statements. It's in a beautiful setting too, with access to playing fields and the tennis court. The young people love going there - it's open from 7pm tp 9pm on Wednesdays during term time if you fancy popping along.
A couple fo the group went to our Youth Councils residential in 2014 and are still talking about it! Thank you everyone there for making me so welcome (and offering to share pizza).
Community Youth Club Handbook Review
I was having a wander around Amazon last night, and thought I'd check how our Community Youth Club handbook was doing. I discovered that someone had written a lovely review about it!!! Click here to see it. It's great that someone (even if they don't live in Somerset) has found the book as useful as we meant it to be. If you feel like adding to the reviews - or giving feed back through this blog - we'd love to hear from you.
By the way, the review mentions that you can't download all the appendices from this website - which is true. However, if you contact us, we can (in some cases) email them to you. So give us a ring!Kirstie Brown Youth and Community Officer 01823 349853
Well - how great was our Youth Clubs Young Volunteers residential at Liddington? I'll tell you - it was fabulous! The team here, augmented by Dan from Reach Youth and Mark from Mendip YMCA, joined 45 young people from clubs across Somerset to do workshops, have fun and (in one young person's case) eat far too many bananas.
We met on Friday night and all managed to survive until tea time Sunday. Workshops covered everything from communication, to community projects to planning and evaluation, with lots of time for groups to share their learning and plan for the future. We also found time for a few outdoor activties. All the young people were keen, enthusiastic and very friendly. I can honestly say I've never taken away such a well behaved group before. The group presentations at the end were amazing.
Keep an eye on the 'Young Volunteers' section of the website for the report, as well as downloads of all the workshops - so that anyone use them if they like - the young people thought they were great.
I'd like to thank everyone who came along - it was a wonderful weekend.Kirstie Brown Youth and Community Officer
There is a lot of talk in the news currently about the number of young people who are not exercising their right to vote. It has been suggested that changes to the way people register to vote have meant that young people, and in particular students, have 'droped off the register'. With a general election taking place in May, this is now a really important issue to address.
Darren Hughes, the Deputy Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said:
"While it was sensible to move on from the Victorian-era system of household registration, there have been real concerns about making the switch so close to an election. It's now the duty of everyone concerned, including central government, local authorities, the voluntary sector and all the political parties, to find those missing millions and make sure they don't lose out on their most basic civic right."
A number of organisations operate campaigns to encourage young voters - visit the links below to find out more about some of them...
Sky News - Stand Up and Be Counted
UK Youth Parliament - are you ready?
Angela, Kate and I are packed and ready to go on the UK Youth Parliament Residential this afternoon - a weekend full of fun activities and brilliant workshops, including presentation skills, research skills, effective campaigning, media training and manifesto writing! I only hope the young people (all twenty of them) are ready for it and remember their warm clothing! I think we'll all be very tired come Sunday evening...Kirstie Brown Youth and Community Officer
The Youth and Community Team were shortlisted for a staff award in the 'Unsung heroes Childrens Services' category and Angela and Jeff went along to the Awards Ceremony on 22 January to find out if we'd won. We didn't win - the award went to Angie Jackson, manager of the Fostering East Team who manages a large team split across 2 offices. Angie goes the extra mile and use her skills to appropriately undertake difficult tasks which many would say was not their role. Well done Angie! We were however, highly commended for all our work with communities - effectively coming joint second with the Safeguarding Children Team. We've got a very nice framed certificate!
Kirstie Brown Youth and Community Officer
YOT / TYS listens to young people
I'm off to Dillington tomorrow to deliver a days training to YOT / TYS staff. YOT / TYS are improving their ability to listen to the voice of the young people who use their service by setting up Voice Groups across the county. Young people will have opportunities to start their own projects, feedback to decision makers about the service they receive and help YOY / TYS improve what they do with young people. If you want to know more, have a chat with Wendy Jenner on 01458 440280.
If you are an organisation who'd like to improve the waysit hears young people's views, we may be able to help with free advice and bespoke training. Give me a ring for a chat.Kirstie Brown Youth and Community Officer 01823 349853