This April marks a significant moment for the Centre for Youth Impact. As many of you familiar with the evolution of the Centre will know, we have taken our time in thinking through our structure and identity. We wanted to be sure that whatever form we took, it would not just enable but require us to work collaboratively, respectfully and thoughtfully. As such, we are delighted to announce that the Centre for Youth Impact is registering as a charity, with a new Chair and Board of trustees.
This is the culmination of a journey for the Centre, but is also something of a new beginning. We are excited to work with our amazing new trustees as part of a growing Board, with the support of committed and progressive funders, on a strong and diverse programme of work. We now have regional networks covering the whole of England, and will begin work in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland this coming year. Our network leads continue to be the infrastructure, or ‘backbone’, to all our work. We continue to work in a number of thematic areas, including youth enterprise, social action and faith-based work, and we will expand this. With our partners, we’ve reached the end of the first year of the Youth Investment Fund, during which time we have focused on testing new thinking about evaluation and understanding impact in youth work. We’re looking forward to refining and sharing that thinking more widely. We are continuing to think about collective impact, particularly how it can play a role in changing the odds for young people, rather than changing young people themselves. We will also continue our thinking about what it would mean to put relationships at the heart of evaluation. And this year we will grow our work with funders and commissioners, recognising their critical role in the relationship between practice and evaluation.
Above all, we want to be more open in the future. To share more, to listen and learn more, and to give more away. We don’t have aspirations to grow, or to be around forever. Our success in the short term will be determined by you, but we want our longer-term legacy to be experienced by young people. And this we absolutely cannot achieve alone.
Thomas Lawson, Chief Executive of Leap Confronting Conflict and the Chair of the Centre’s new board, has shared his thoughts on why he has taken on this role, the challenges facing the sector and his ambitions for the Centre’s work. We are so pleased to have Tom’s leadership and experience as part of the Centre.
Bethia McNeil, April 2018
The Centre for Youth Impact, supported by Big Lottery Fund, is delighted to present our report from one year of working with the Talent Match partnerships to learn about quality in mentoring relationships. Talent Match is a five-year, £108 million investment by the Big Lottery Fund to tackle youth unemployment. The programme is delivered by cross-sector partnerships in 21 areas across England, supporting young people aged 18-24 furthest from the labour market.
This report explores quality in developmental relationships from the perspective of the young person’s experience. It acknowledges the power that relationships can hold for those that experience them, and that for many people the individual, flexible and organic nature of these relationships sits at odds to traditional methods of measuring quality and impact.
We intend that this report will be a tool for anyone interested in how relationships work as a mechanism for change within services and programmes, and how we might understand and improve quality in these relationships. You can download the report here.
The £900,000 Listening Fund is designed to support 22 youth-focused organisations in England to capture the views and voices of young people in shaping the services that they receive. It promotes creative mechanisms for listening – from new technology and research to board positions for young people.
The Fund, led by the Blagrave Trust but also supported by the Big Lottery Fund, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Comic Relief, targets young people facing various disadvantages, including those leaving care or experiencing homelessness, school exclusion, poor mental health and sexual exploitation and abuse.
The evaluation is a great opportunity to draw out learning across the fund both to support the development of the 22 listening projects themselves and to shape the future of listening practice across the youth sector more broadly. The evaluation will employ mixed methods including a self-assessment tool and some standardised feedback questions as well as more in-depth organisational case studies.
For more information regarding the evaluation please contact Matthew.firstname.lastname@example.org
The Youth Investment Fund Learning Project is a unique opportunity to learn from a wide range of open access youth organisations. NPC and the Centre for Youth Impact in partnership with the Big Lottery Fund and DCMS are pleased to share the project’s new website www.YIFLearning.org, the go to place for resources, tips and events to help charities and social enterprises to develop practical, meaningful and relevant measurement approaches for their open access youth services.
You can read more on how the Youth Investment Fund learning and impact strand is responding to the challenges of evaluation in open access provision in this “Cracking the impact nut” blog post.
Building on our existing work with the Young Brent Foundation (YBF) that developed a guidebook to evaluation, the Centre is piloting an enhanced support offer for YBF’s members. The 12-week offer is an attempt to move beyond ‘off the shelf’ toolkits and provide more substantial and structured ongoing support to help organisations develop their own impact practice. It will include face-to-face workshops, webinars and assessments all in a safe and supportive peer-learning environment. Rather than developing a ‘training package’ we are prioritising building capacity for self-evaluation, with the intention of embedding these ideas and practices across the organisations we are supporting. We will publish our reflections on the pilot in the spring but if you would like further information please get in touch with Matthew.email@example.com.
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