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Working online - what does good look like?


Kevin Franks, CEO of Youth Focus North East and our Regional Network Lead for the NE, reflects on the first regional event of 2021 and designing a workshop that addressed the challenges in adapting provision to fit our new online reality.

Prior to hosting our first workshop of the year, I have to admit I was somewhat apprehensive regarding how many people would want to attend and what we could realistically provide that would adequately meet needs at this particular time. We know that one of the great things about our sector, over the past year, has been our ability to change and adapt delivery in response to the challenges posed by the pandemic and ultimately to continue to meet the needs of young people. A significant element of adapting provision has been the move to more online working. We therefore decided to focus this event on the topic: 'Working online - what does good look like?' 

To enable participants the time and space to examine the topic in detail, we limited the numbers for the event. However, my initial apprehension on the level of interest proved unfounded, as we were oversubscribed with registrations - a clear example that colleagues are focussed on learning and improving their practice.  


Within the workshop we wanted to: 

  • Hold a reflective space to reflect on how we can know what ‘good’ looks like (including online and within context of COVID-19)
  • Explore what tools exist to support developing good practice
  • Introducing the Youth Programme Quality Intervention (YPQI)


Participants were able to reflect on what they were enjoying about online youth work, what they saw as the weaknesses and what they would want to change. The level of engagement and quality of discussion during the workshop was excellent and I would like to pass on my thanks to Catherine and Steve from the Centre, for all their help and support prior to and during the workshop. Following an introduction to the YPQI; attendees had the opportunity to reflect on their own practice by using some of the YPQI items to consider how they might adapt work online in light of their reflections.    


It was a valuable first event of the year and we were delighted to receive encouraging feedback: 


"Really interesting discussion, thanks for the great facilitation"

"Really great session, great to hear from so many organisations and what's working and also what's not working so well"

"Excellent opportunity to gain insight to the issues facing the sector right now"