Speaking with one voice - YouthBorders Impact
Since its inception 9 years ago, YouthBorders has grown from being a corporation of members into a strong partnership organisation with a membership reaching across the whole of the Borders and across all aspects of youth work. Such strengths in partnership work and speaking with one voice were validated earlier this year when the Joint Services Inspection Report for Children and Young People’s Services highlighted YouthBorders and the 7 generic lead organisations/CLD as a Best Practice example, meaning that it’s set up and impact were unique in Scotland. We were delighted with this outcome but we are determined to build on these strengths and one voice and ensure that in whatever we do, young people continue to come first.
Our impact covers many aspects of the work we do and we strive to be as best practice and effective as possible, facilitating the work of our members and ensuring that they are able to work in safe environments, building upon their expertise and experience. Our membership now reaches all corners of this large rural area as well as all types of youth groups: From generic to specialist, multi staffed hubs to local voluntary groups. Our membership has grown by a quarter in the past year and we aim to welcome into this big family any group or club carrying out youth work for children and young people between the ages of 5 and 25 years.
Below are some links to the impact that we and that youth has in the Borders and beyond. There are also some testimonials from our members to show the impact we have had on the different groups. We also carried out a survey of members last year and aim to do another shortly, so that we work continuously and tirelessly to promote our members in all they do and to ensure they are receiving the best support and advice from us.
We believe the work YouthBorders does, impacts in different way:
Speak with one voice
We continue to increase our membership to ensure we speak on behalf of all youth work in the Borders
We coordinate a Specialist Youth Network to bring in more specialist issues and concerns
We have strong strategic representation at the tables and committees that count, including being the third sector and youth work representative on the Joint Services Children and Young People’s Leadership Group at SBC/NHS Borders and the Children and Young People’s Planning Group
We represent the third sector at local, regional and national forum including the Parliament’s Cross Party Rural Affairs Committee and on the Local Action Group for LEADER funding.
We represent members and youth work on many networking forum and third sector forums and at meetings with business and other stakeholders
We have built significantly on building relationships and contacts with local and national partners, ensuring the voice of youth work in the Scottish Borders is heard at all levels
Builds capacity and confidence
Our membership continues to grow as groups see the benefits of being involved in and supported by YouthBorders
We provide more support for our members with practical assistence (PVG guidance, insurance and policies) as well as bespoke services (one on one meetings, training and governance support), especially for smaller, voluntary and specialist groups
We provide greater training, both within youth groups but also through our multi agency training calendar, thereby building capacity and confidence in all aspects of youth work
We have seen more people sign up to our weekly e bulletin, currently reaching over 370 recipients and recognised as providing useful and relevant information
Members feel more ready to share their experiences, funding ideas and issues that concern them, finding support and assurance from speaking and meeting other members through our various networks
We have effective cross Border projects to help build awareness and support in key areas such as in sexual health, volunteering and music
Build best practice
We aim to build practice in all we do from finance to policy templates, governance to membership support – if we can do it right we can more easily support our members to carry out best practice in the way they work and support young people.
Our strategic representation and networking has ensured that we are building best practice in the way we represent the voice of youth work and young people increasingly recognised through the call for our support and input at all levels of policy and strategy
Most recently the partnership structure of YouthBorders, the 7 lead generic youth organisations (built around the 9 high schools) and CLD was highlighted as Best Practice in the Joint Inspection on Children and Young People’s Services
We have started the process to achieve the LGBT Foundation Charter and aim to roll out the charter to our members to support them and their service users
We are also beginning the process of working towards the Investors in Young People award and again to roll it out across the membership to promote best practice for young people in employment
And finally we are setting up a YouthBorders Youth Board with the support of business sponsorship to ensure we get the best input from young people on the issues that affect them and that they are supported through training and leadership skills
We are proud of our achievements and the impact we are having but are not complacent as we can always seek to improve, build capacity and reach, and find more effective way to operate in true partnership. Most of all, the Board and team at YouthBorders believe passionately in making the lives of children and young people in the Scottish Borders better, providing them with more opportunities and with safe and inspiring environments in which they can thrive.
Clare de Bolle
Our Impact Report 2015-2016
Why not have a read of our impact report for the past year? It very demonstrates our impact and effectiveness as an organisation.
Youth Work Outcomes
The development of the Youth Work Outcomes has been a partnership piece of work which has now been signed off by the NVYO Scotland and Local Authority Youth Work Managers Network at their joint residential in June.
There is still a considerable amount of work to be done to embed the outcomes across the youth work sector but we are encouraged by the enthusiasm with which this development has been met.
“This is exactly the help we have been needing! I feel like a weight has been lifted”
“I don’t feel so stressed knowing that you are here to help me through all the different processes”
“This is exactly the role YouthBorders should have, being able to link up this different organisation from across the Scottish Borders, if you hadn’t met me today I wouldn’t have known about Kelso food project at all, thank you”
“Two heads are better than one, now I know I am doing thing the right way (in regards to policies and procedures)”