YOUTH FOCUS SOUTH WEST is a ‘Not for Profit’, Community Interest Company (CIC) established in 2018 by Juliette Morgan with the aim of continuing to develop opportunities for young people at a time when funding for Youth Work has been dramatically reduced.
YOUTH FOCUS SOUTH WEST has always had links to the Network of Regional Youth Work Units: England , and since 2019 has delivered regional training and capacity-building projects as part of the Network. Gill Millar, formerly Regional Youth Work Adviser at Learning South West, is leading our regional activities to support the youth sector in responding to challenges faced by young people and the organisations that work with them.
As a Community Interest Company, YOUTH FOCUS SOUTH WEST is governed by its Directors, who are all passionate about young people and youth work. All our current Non-Executive Directors are youth workers and know the value that youth work brings for young people We also have an Advisory Group of youth work professionals from across the region to guide our South West regional developments.
How to be a regional Youth Unit
Youth Work Delivery
What We Do
Targeted Work with young people
We are currently providing 1 to 1 support to young people for organisations including
Schools and the Local Authority. This includes, but is not limited to work in the following
-Staying safe and internet safety
-Managing thoughts and feelings
-Managing anxiety, develop emotions and skills
-Risk Taking and ASB
-Positive relationships and sexual health
-Drug and alcohol work
-Actions and consequences
The opportunity for young people to work in groups rather than on a 1:1 basis can provide distinct benefits. We can tailor group work to meet the needs of young people experiencing a similar range of issues. The outcomes of group work can include:
- Increased self-esteem
- Developing self-awareness
- Managing self
- Team work
- Social skills
- Developing peer support networks
- Positive relationships
- Staying safe in relation to Sexual Health, Risk taking, Social Media
We are currently working with young people identifying as LGBTQ to develop resources for their peers around Loneliness and Isolation and have developed a Personal Development programme for young people aged 16+ to support them to stay in Education.
Participation (involving young people)
“Every young person has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them and to have their views considered and taken seriously.”
Article 12, UN Convention on the Rights of the child.
We can support organisations to develop systems and processes where young people are actively involved in shaping the development of provision and services. This can include: Involvement in your recruitment processes, Youth Consultation, Setting up Youth Forums, making your organisation more young people friendly.
We use a range of positive activities to support us in engaging with young people aged 11-19 in areas with reduced provision. Using detached/street based youth work, we can target young people engaging in risk taking behaviour or/and anti-social behaviour, providing diversionary activities, building positive relationships and supporting young people to develop self-esteem and skills.
Connecting the youth sector
Through our networks and contacts we know the youth sector in the region well, and can bring together different organisations to share practice and build on the best. Our experience of partnership building and our knowledge of the youth sector means we can support organisations to develop partnership approaches that can meet the needs of local young people.
We use our networks and regular communications with the field to inform people of developments, encourage South West-based organisations to benefit from initiatives, and support local partnerships of youth organisations. We plan to extend our Network offer to include a regular Youth Policy Forum for the South West during 2020, as the youth sector responds to the challenges faced by young people as a result of the COVID19 pandemic.
Training and Workforce Development for Youth Workers
We design and deliver training for youth workers on particular issues, such as youth
loneliness, measuring impact, participation and more, often working collaboratively with other national, regional and local organisations. Look out for events on our Coming Soon page.
We also support training providers and youth organisations to provide good quality training for youth work organisations in their area, through facilitating the South West Youth Work Trainers Network, whose members have co-operated to deliver over 50 funded places on youth work qualifications across the region in 2019/20. We can support organisations to increase their capacity to deliver youth work training through this peer network. For more information about the South West Youth Work Trainers Network, contact us on 07930 550322 or email@example.com
Quality, impact and youth work practice
In partnership with Space psm and the Centre for Youth Impact we co-ordinate the South West Youth Impact Network which provides information, training and advice to youth organisations about ways of measuring and reporting on the impact of their work. We also provide bespoke support to youth organisations in the South West who face challenges in developing a quality youth work offer to young people.
South West Youth Impact Network The Network meets 3 times a year, usually with a focus on a particular topic related to impact and outcomes of youth work. Members share their own experiences of ways of measuring and reflecting on impact, and benefit from learning from each other and from inputs from Centre for Youth Impact and other ‘impact experts’. The group is open to youth work providers, commissioners, funders and researchers, and welcomes new members. For more information or to join the South West Youth Impact Network, contact us on 07930 550322 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Bespoke support We can provide bespoke support to youth organisations in the South West who face challenges in identifying the impact and quality of their work with young people. Examples of recent projects include work with the Rendezvous Project in Dorset and Cuckoo Meadow Youth Project in Minehead. For more information about bespoke support, contact us on 07930 550322 or email@example.com
Influencing policy and practice
Youth Focus South West use our knowledge and connections to local youth organisations and our strong links with national youth organisations and policy makers in government departments to enable voices from the South West to be heard as policy and initiatives are developed. Through the Network of Regional Youth Work Units; England we have a voice for the region on national bodies. We have regular calls and meetings with national organisations and civil servants and politicians and regularly comment on strategic developments before publication. This is a valuable resource for the region that relies on maintaining strong links with our local youth work sector.
regional youth work units
If youd like to know a bit more about us, what we do or have any questions, please get in touch with us.
You can either use the form on this site, or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org