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
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