How do you recognise a lesser spotted youthworker? Theyll be overheard saying these

If you were to gather a whole load of youthworkers together, or over hear them talking in the office or with family and friends, and theres a good chance you might hear some of the following. They are the audible signs that the person is a youthworker.

1. I wish you could get funding for developing purposeful relationships

2. No I don’t get paid just to play table tennis Image result for table tennis

3. It’s like a combination of being a social worker, teacher and police officer, but also nothing like them.

4. Maybe we need to have a conversation about that.

5. No one gets what were trying to do here, but were trying anyway.

6. Don’t call them youth, or young person, they have a name.

7. I wish I was better managed.

8. Youth work is not like it used to be.

9. Margaret Thatcher. (Often in an informal lecture about cuts to youth provision or rise of neo liberalism.) 

10. To young people: We do just want this (CCTV ridden, brand new building ) to be your space.

11.Yes i do a proper job, an no i’m not too old to do it 

12. No Im not just warming up to be a teacher or vicar

13. Yes im sure we’ll be able to use something random from the store cupboard to run a session

14. You mean i have to do my own admin too? 

15. Needlessly dropping the words ‘Generation’ into any sentence.  (this is often the ‘church’ based youthworker- they have other phrases too) 

16. We just want to be ‘there’ for young people

17. Have you considered the ethics of this decision? (over deciding which coffee outlet to meet in) 

18. We need to consider the context of the young person

19. ‘Our job keeps changing, a different job title every year, for every funding cut, every new reshuffle. I used to be a youthworker, now im a children, youth, families, community flourisher with early educational intervention remit. Its the same job, but i report now to the litter picking department’

20.  There’s just something wonderful about when young people want to talk, share their dreams and ambitions, and i can help them achieve them. 

21. Its the system. Its always the systems fault. 

22. We have loads of funding, last week we were able to throw away a pencil in the office without going all the way down to the lead. 

23. I wish young people didnt have all those expectations thrust on them, that they could choose what kind of service or provision they want. 

24. God i hate funding forms. 

25. It is all about values isnt it? 

You may, of course spot a number of other phrases or sayings that in a crowded room, a conference, or even now at the school that help you to indicate the sounds of the now lesser spotted youthworker. They are an endangered species more than ever, so, buy them a coffee, say hello, and only when you mention NCS, Neo liberalism or evangelism, do they bite. Do add your own below:

 

8 ways to get money for youth and community work:

I note with interest, and no shortage of encouragement to Martin Percy and Ali Campbells piece in the church times recently, who after receiving data from over 600 church based youth workers in the UK, concluded and made recommendations about the future pay of youthworkers, especially those based in churches, and maybe specifically the anglican church – but also denomination wide.

You can read the full report here

There is somewhat of a slight general problem here. In case anyone hasnt yet noticed. An increase in Youth and Community/Youth Children workers in churches pay – because they are more qualified (quite where these qualifications are coming from when there’s less than 10 different youth ministry degree offering colleges in the UK) – also means that churches are going to have to find more money to employ them.

Problem? Well, unless your church is full of the Mercedes driving , mega rich, tithing generously, there’s a colossal amount of churches in the UK that barely have pennies between them, and shoe horning money that is in the coffers for youth work, better luck trying to find integrity in the tory party. Political metaphors aside though, whilst some churches may have money to pay youth/childrens workers more appropriately, the challenge remains how to find funding for these roles, and any other similar roles in a church, or youth work organisation.  So, whilst I have written pieces here on the trials of finding funding, or what the perfect funding application looks like – I haven’t ever shared what might be considered helpful advice on some of the different ways of generating funding for youth and community work. So, here are a number of them.Image result for money

  1. Personal Donations

Any Youth ministry/youth/community project is going to need a fair share of these. Having a generous, giving community who supports a project with regular donations is literally a God send. For one thing, any personal donations can then also have gift aid claimed back – but also usually most personal donations can be received and spend as ‘unrestricted’ – ie they can be used (unless specified) in any way that the charity requires. And potentially, do the core work, or with with groups that might not be as easily funded, or do it without prescriptive targets that trust funding might require.

For the charity – maintaining personal donations is critical, and often people become regular donors at the start of projects, through specific appeals, if they have personal interest, and it is important to communicate to personal donors regularly with stories and ways in which their donations are making a difference.

For the charity – creating easy mechanisms to collect donations is critical, there are online fundraising schemes ( Justgiving is one example, there are others) – it needs to be an easy mechanism.

Personal donations are also key to create other funding, as they provide match funding and the people who like to see match funding are…

2. Charitable Trust Funding

Probably the core funding for many a youth/community work organisation is the grant/charitable trust funding. From Children in need, to local community foundations, from £500 from the co-op to £500,000 from comic relief – Charitable trust funds are varied, and can provide huge one of, or sustained funding for projects, sometimes core staff funding, and equipment, buildings and resources. Check out local community foundations, charity newsletters for lists of these. There’s websites like funding finder where you can sign up and receive updates.

For all the grant funding can provide the big money. Boy is it a challenge, a waiting game like the dentist at times, sometimes huge amounts of effort, contacting, meeting funding reps, writing reports, gathering data and evaluations, and making plans that sometimes meet criteria, only to be turned down. Needing more than 70% of a total annual income from grant funding is not necessarily a recipe for sustainability or calm, but for many its the only choice.

3. The Business subsidiary.

This is interesting. And often underutilised. Its a way of generating funding though running a subsidiary business whose money is channelled back into the charity. So, for instance charity shops – are often linked to their core charity, but separate for insurance and liability purposes. There are community youthwork projects around the UK that have many charity shops, YMCA for example:Image result for ymca charity shop and BLEND in Derbyshire have this model. It can guarantee income depending on the business and its profits – there are spin offs too like being able to train young people in retail as they help in the shop and volunteering opportunities. But they do require effort, and also then funding to employ someone to run the charity shops, even as a PT manager. Other options for a subsidiary business are possible – but charity shops are clearly the most well known.

4. Fundraising events.

These can be as good for profile raising as they are for the actual funding that is received from them, but its great when people are keen to raise funding through doing events for you, sponsored activities, fetes, sales etc. Even better when you as the charity leader dont have to organise them…

But have too many…. and people get tired…

Image result for fundraising events

5. Crowd funding.

These can be for specific pleas and causes. Say as a charity you desperately needed a mini bus, kitchen equipment, or sports stuff – or maybe even one persons salary – With a supportive community, social media and a good cause, crowd funding can be one way of generating this income. The charity must also give back for donations, so it might be that you give away a free resource to everyone who pledged £10, or offer a free use of a hall for a donation of £500, but its about partly to give a small reword for anyone who pledges a certain amount. There are many crowd funding websites, and range from size, fees and commission, so do look around.

6. Membership schemes.

These are probably the most underused form, but could be really good. If you’re a charity of some description (and there are many categories CIC, CIO) it is likely you will need charitable trustees, and in addition you should also have members of the charity to which the trustees are accountable to. Often, a charity will have trustees but not members, and in their constitution ‘membership’ of the charity should be defined. But, simplified, anyone should be able to become a member, and pay a nominally determined fee to be able to do so, and this may give them the right to vote at an AGM and be the people who the trustees are accountable to. Think about it, if you have 100 members, who each pay £5 /month for the privilege, then this could be an untapped income. You can set conditions about membership and who becomes a member – ie having broad sympathies with the charitable aims, and yes a bit of power of the trustees is given away, but as a positive it means that the governance of the charity has some accountability. Members and trustees in conversation, or accountability.

7. Social enterprises.

Not unlike the varieties of charitable set up, there are many ways in which a charity might set up a social enterprise to raise charitable funding. Broadly they are developed by users of the charity to raise money which is then put back into the charity. Examples can include T-shirt printing by young people, food cooperatives, sale of items, childrens party inflatables, maybe even trades like hair dressing. They tend not to be run as separate business, though they could be once established, but part of the charity itself. A friend of mine @valbarron9 is currently doing a PhD on faith organisations and social enterprises, could be worth keeping an eye on. Its also something Kenda Creasy Dean has talked about for developing in youth ministry as part of the youth programme.

8. Paid Events. 

Celebrations, Dinner parties, Breakfasts, all good opportunities, if a charity has considerable local support, or to increase good profile into better profile, then a charity event, held and hopefully subsidised by a local hotel or restaurant can be a good way of raising funds, both for the entrance fee, and any fundraising during such as raffles, games, silent auctions. These can be good for getting the business community to get involved.  These can be risky… especially if ticket sales are low…

There are a few others. The biggest thing with each of the above, is that there are positives and negatives with all of them. There are risks and opportunities with all as well. And just because something worked one year, doesn’t mean it should be repeated. It is worth also thinking through a number of factors with each such as who is being asked to fund. Ie its one thing asking young people to contribute £50 per summer for a camp, but should they also pay £20 a month to attend the youth group, or at least this is what it feels like to parents who have to sponsor youth projects, attend events, and are asked to make personal donations too. An extreme example may be. But asking members of a poor-ish neighbourhood to pay for a service, without having any decision making seems a little unjust or unethical. Successful crowdfunding might require a group that capture the imagination and already have close friends who have large disposable income. Charitable trust funding can provide large sums, but the effort, and losing maybe some control and identity to them, can outweigh the benefit of the funding.

The question may well be, that plans to grow a small project currently run with volunteers might be valid, but they are ways of growing small, and employing sessional or self employed staff first. Or thinking about funding for a fundraiser and admin staff first – and not just a youth/community worker who might end of getting bogged down with charity admin. (something they will love… trust me) By the way, it isnt funding that closes projects, its the poor governance of money. Money does need serious thought, and with many options needing to be considered. Sticking to one funding source is likely to end in disaster. When two or more may have advantages that outweigh their disadvantages, but that requires more work.

I hope some of this is helpful, I am sure I have missed some, do share any other examples of funding you have done, the fails and successes, as others might have better success in their context…thank you.

 

The 12 days of Christmas (The youthwork cupboard clutter version)

After some ‘careful’ research via social media, and some willing participants, who might need counselling after disclosing, it time for the annual 12 days of Christmas song, this year its the  the youth work cupboard clutter version.

So, if ‘your true love’ had found their way to the youth work/ministry cupboard, and gave gifts according to what they might have found, these might be on the list. Own up, you know it could easily be you, Easily because weve all done the ‘we’ll use that again one day’ or ‘thatll come in useful’ another day thing. And its left to rot or waste space.

Some of these items were found by the ‘next project’ to use the building, after the previous one left suddenly – or left the items on purpose. Either way, these are all genuine articles found, discovered or are lurking currently in the ‘youth cupboards’ in the UK. Bought because of a funding bid so specific the equipment was never going to be used again, bought for a talk or session so bad never to be repeated. Now this christmas, it is their chance, once ignored and beaten up to shine…

Now, for brevity, I will not be rewriting the lyrics for each ‘day’ but im sure you get the drift, and thanks especially to those who made contributions that fit the original song, and poetic license required for when there wasnt quite the right number…

 

Image result for 12 days of christmas

 

All together now (you know the tune)…
On the first day of Christmas – my youth worker gave to me.. An Ann Summers (rubber) penis hoopla and a sachet of lube (‘credit’ Jenni Eleri & Zoe Cumberland)
In the second Christmas clear out the worker gave to me.. Several ceramic tiles and an Ann Summers……etc etc     (Thanks Naomi Thompson)
In the third Christmas clear out the worker left behind… 3 garden shovels, several ceramic tiles… (hasnt everyone tried an allotment project..?)
On the 4th day of Christmas, discovered at the back; (a) full-size arcade dance mat  (circa fitness project 2004, thanks Shannon Hart)
On the 5th day of Christmas my youth store gave to me, 
5 golden toilet-seats
(‘which funding bid did this require..?’  thanks Pamela Campbell for this one, there was only 1 but its gold and it fits the tune)
On the 6th day of Christmas the youth store shared with me.. 6 wooden clothes pegs  (thanks Liz Skudder)
On the 7th day of Christmas, the youth store gave to me;   7 inflatable rhinos (there was only 1, and its a rumour, but still, really.. why even need one of these? .. again Mark Tiddy..)
On the 8th day of Christmas, the youth store then revealed ; 8 Rubber turkeys (thanks Kirsty Thomas) 
On the 9th day of Christmas the youth store then revealed ; 9 miniature garden gnomes (Lucie Hutson, any ideas why?)
On the 10th day of sorting, the cupboard then disclosed, 250 rub-ber ducks  (thanks Mark Tiddy (and ‘two-fifty’ does fit the tune) )
On the 11th day of Christmas, the youth store then embellished; 11 defunct PC cables (or monitors, keyboards, ‘mice’, cables etc etc, from when the computer room was last redecorated, in 2007)
On the 12th day of Cleaning, the youth store shared with me, 12 brown monk outfits (credit Liz Dumain, and yes, 12 of them.. )

sadly,, the list of things that didnt quite get given away this christmas also couold have included; 14 copper kettles, a roll your own ‘joints’ kit, a box of rubber foetuses, and an box of chlamydia testing kits.

 

Well. What can I say. There’s a number of stories to be told about many many of these. And that’s hopefully before any of them might have been young peoples lost property. Does your youthwork store have a number of secrets, just by the junk that has been left behind? waiting for the project to come back again in full cycle. Or the time to tell that ‘story’ that needed 250 rubber ducks, or game that needed a toilet seat. Yes its a game.. apparently……. Maybe its none of that at all. Maybe its that everyone else is chucking out their rubbish and thinks ‘could i donate this ‘rubbish’ to those creative youth workers to do something with it, and the youth workers feel obliged to take it instead of saying no (because we like ‘free things’) and now the cupboard is full of rubber ducks, monks outfits, golden toilet seats and a box of lube. Tell you what, I’m glad Ofsted doesnt inspect youth work cupboards…give a gift this Christmas, but maybe not from the back of the youth work cupboard.

And if anyone needs counselling after reading this… or maybe just a serious tidy up…

 

Early announcement

in January I will be starting a Patreon site in which, for a small membership fee, you will be able to read and enjoy my articles without the advertising and do so a little earlier than those published here.  To see a preview of the site visit https://www.patreon.com/preview/7fe77e87f2864f06adc06aa58e6151cd . Ill keep you posted on when the new site is launched. Before then, any donation please click the ‘Donate’ tab above. Thank you

 

35 Experiences that (probably) every youthworker has done:

We’ve all seen them, the ’20 things everyone from your city must have done’, or the bucket list of 10 things to do before you die, so just for fun on Friday, here are 35 things that I’m pretty sure many of us as youth workers of one sort or another have either done, or had experience of in our role or career to date. And if you haven’t, it probably because you haven’t yet, but probably will.

Enjoy, and do add a few more in the comments below…

 

  1. Every youth worker has worked in a cold office
  2. You have been one funding bid away from charity collapse, redundancy and the end of an entire 10 years of work   (thanks Dave Walker for this apt cartoon..) Image result for youthworker
  3. you expected too much from one young person, expected too little from another
  4. invented a game on the spot
  5. Used a ‘ready to use’ material, changed every part, and basically just kept the title
  6. Ruined a session because of an accidental innuendo
  7. Ruined a session because of a deliberate innuendo
  8. Hoped that nobody would turn up for a session (or hoped that the streets were quiet)
  9. Hoped that somebody would turn up for a session
  10. Interrupted/sat between two young people who were getting too cosy with each other
  11. Had someone ask whether you’re too old to be a youthworker anymore
  12. Have found something good even in the worst of sessions
  13. Have found something traumatically dreadful in the best of sessions
  14. Have secretly wished for a teachers salary and security but not their job load, pressure or expectations.
  15. Have secretly been glad that you’re not a teacher
  16. Have had the mini bus break down
  17. Have resorted to bribery to keep the attention of a young personImage result for youthworker
  18. Have found solace in coffee.
  19. Have wished they had more time to do reflection and supervision well
  20. Done detached once.
  21. Lived in a place with the second worst teenage pregnancy in the county/country/world.. or isnt far from it
  22. Wished that someone would understand them
  23. Have screamed in frustration at every news piece on the state of young people post austerity (this week its mental health again, last week it was school isolation (see previous post)
  24. Have been in a situation of not been able to explain why something went well, but it just did, and replicating it doesnt work
  25. Been at a conference just for the networking.
  26. Been economical with the truth on a funding bid.
  27. Had to change your entire practice because someone else was economic with the truth on a funding bid.
  28. Wished you didn’t have a team or work in an organisation because of the team meetings
  29. Wished that you did work in a team and that you did have team meetings
  30. Been distracted by this blog.
  31. Had the best idea you’ve ever had idea torn apart by management group/trustees or governance and then had the worst trustees in the world.. yet..
  32. Forced to do the ‘great’ idea of the management or governance even though you know it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.
  33. You couldn’t wait to leave college and get back out in the real world.
  34. You wish you were back in college.
  35. Been asked ‘when are you going to get a proper job’

dare i say it.. 36. lost a young person…. ?

37. Been barred from somewhere, to the extent that a mini bus, consent form and 2 hour trip is required to go to the only macdonalds that will serve you all.

Hope you enjoyed these,  Thank you to the many who made a contribution to this piece with your own suggestions for what it should include, there is a variety of experiences for all of us, but many of us will have, or are about to have a range of similar experiences, in whatever part of the country or world that we do youthwork.

Youthworker; Are these your superpowers? is the follow up to this piece….

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‘Are you looking forward to your sabbatical?’ and 19 other unlikely phrases said by youthworkers

Picture the scene, theres two youth workers chatting together at a conference, and you’re listening in to their conversation, I would put a fair wage on none of these statements being mentioned by either of them:

1. Your sabbatical is coming up, what are you planning to do?

2. I’m off next week for my annually organised cpd to help me on my designated career progression training programme.

3. Oh yes, there’s a problem with the damp in my flat, but I can ring the diocese and they’ll sort it.

4. It’s great that the church decided to keep me on instead of the vicar, showed real pioneering spirit and value of young people.

5. Oh good, nothing energises me more than the thought of obtaining funding for my own salary.

6. Nowadays, there’s just so much positivity about young people in the press.

7. I love the security of my role.

8. Nothing pleases me more than trying to justify my job as a youthworker and try and get young people to attend church (or an employment programme)

9. Working in this denomination _______________, they really know how to support their lay youthworkers and provide sustainability.

10. I was so pleased that my church or organisation gave me a £100 budget to spend on books for myself, and continued it even when money was tight.

11. Its great that when i have a problem with my management i can chat with a union rep.

12. Honestly I have so many volunteers I don’t know what to do with them all.

13. Writing funding bids really is the highlight of my year

14. Administration, I’m given loads of time for this.

15. Do you know what, im pretty sure Ive got all the DVDs ill ever need

16. Theres nothing better than reading Shakespeare or Jane Austen to inspire my youthwork practice

17. It never ceases to amaze me how many people respond positively to my youthworker communication letter.

18. Shawshank Redemption, now theres a crap film.

19. No, actually I dont drink coffee (sorry, but i know there are a few non coffee drinking youthworkers)

20. Im just so encouraged to see each local school and church re-order itself around the needs and gifts of children and young people. 

Ok, so may be a few are far fetched and portray the inner frustrated dreamer in me, and yes Satire may well be the last known tool of the powerless. And this may be just that, a little sunday evening Satire. Yet, at this time, youthworkers are probably placed in the most powerless than they have ever been, and as my previous post suggested that although on a better footing, youthworkers have never been in positions of power. So, maybe satire it is one of the best ways to see the lighter side of being a youthworker.

With disruptions to them inevitable, Are strategies in youthwork worth the paper they’re written on?

Its not a negative question, but a realistic one; With all the disruptions to a strategy especially in youthwork- is it even worth bothering with one? Is it even possible to develop strategies for ‘industries’ that are so unpredictable, and people orientated? A possible solution is below, but first the case for the prosecution. Why strategies dont work…

It can feel like a strategy for youthwork practice isnt worth the paper, the time or energy to put together – because its disrupted and in need of change almost immediately.

Image result for strategies

Because; ask a group of youthworkers about the successful of the strategies that they have been able to complete, as you will nearly always find a whole load of reasons why this wasn’t the case.

They didn’t have the power to execute it

They ran out of funding

A volunteer pulled out

The Bishop decided upon an event instead and my time was re orientated

Young people just aren’t straightforward

The trustees change their minds on the plan

Its just not how things are done in this organisation

and the rest…

There a fairly common saying ‘Culture Eats strategy for breakfast’ and whilst this is true, this hides some of the other disruptions that affect the implementation an success of a strategy. The problem can then become that a strategy might need then to incorporate the cultural issues – as well as all the potential risks and hazards that affect the strategy- so in terms of the above – it might need to include

A funding strategy

A volunteers strategy

A strategy to affect culture

A strategy to deal the volunteers

A strategy to convince the ‘higher’ powers of the value of youthwork – such as the heads of affiliation

A strategy to be flexible to overcome the potential disruptions………..

And in that way, having a strategy that can overcome the disruptions, and be that flexible when these unplanned disruptions occurs almost defeats the object of bothering with developing a strategy in the first place, or not far off. Even the most creatively created, participatory planned and organisationally owned strategy. It may be concise, communicated and coordinated, it may intend to be effective and easy to understand. The strategy might incorporate values, be step by step, measurable and time orientated – and have all the bells and appropriate whistles. But it could all go to waste because of the so many factors that could still cause it to be disrupted. Though at the same time developing and redeveloping strategy, aim and vision – revising, revisiting and reviewing it then become regular. But doesn’t it seem like a lot of time, and managerial, leadership effort – for something too easily challenged and changed.

It would become so broad to encompass the potential disruptions – that to be alomost meaningless, and so flexible to adapt to them to be unspecific.

Some of the business gurus when talking about strategies say that a strategy is nearly always going to be unsuccessful if there is no attempt to name the problems that the strategy is trying to solve.

I wonder whether in youthwork we have become fixated by outcome orientated strategies, because these are often what we feel we have been asked to compile, as often our management group, committee or clergy have understood strategy through the prism of transformational and visional leadership (which sets outcomes and prioritised conformity to these fixed outcomes, elevating the ‘transformational leader’ to set and create ‘their’ strategy within cost cutting/efficiency/ and setting outcomes and indicators first) that has been adopted relatively uncritically over the last 10-15 years in orgaisations.

However. Outcome orientated strategy is barely worth the paper it is written on. Youth workers require an alternative.

What about this;

Good strategy, in contrast, works by focusing energy and resources on one, or a very few, pivotal objectives whose accomplishment will lead to a cascade of favourable outcomes. It also builds a bridge between the critical challenge at the heart of the strategy and action—between desire and immediate objectives that lie within grasp. Thus, the objectives that a good strategy sets stand a good chance of being accomplished, given existing resources and competencies.

In short – good strategy is about making the right conditions exist, for the potential for the most opportunities to occur – that are favourable to the aims and objectives, and that use the resources and competencies known to the organisation. It is opportunity orientated, not outcome orientated. Opportunities are things we create the environment for. Outcomes are too unpredictable in youthwork that can be disrupted in too many ways. But we can create positive environments that endeavour to facilitate opportunities.

And in youthwork, those opportunities can happen anywhere. The streets, schools, churches and youth clubs. The problem with an opportunity led strategy is that it needs to be close to the action with young people. Or creating opportunities for training, for supervision, for something else that involves equipping, resourcing and supporting youthworkers – then one step removed from the action – but also close to those who are – but that doesn’t negate opportunity orientated strategy – but that the opportunities might be less frequent than the ‘on the ground’ practice.

Image result for opportunity

Opportunity orientated strategy might suit the openness of youthork closer than an outcome orientated strategy. It also places the emphasis on the agency of those responsible for the strategy to deliver it – through opportunity creation, not dehumanising young people as numbers or potential outcomes, or being frustrated that ideals, or targets havent been met.

The question is – can we afford to develop ‘opportunity’ orientated strategies in a culture of cut throat funding that often seems to demand targets and outcomes – or have we got in some cases the favour an capital to take a risk and communicate opportunity orientated strategy. Often we are asked in funding bids ‘what are we going to do about a situation’ – which a cue to share the proposed opportunities- but as well we might need to be specific about the outcomes – which goes against the flexibility of an opportunity orientated strategy – pushing and driving it to numbers based. It might be a luxury to be able to construct an solely opportunity orientated strategy for youthwork practice. But – on the other hand – it a luxury we might want to afford ourselves given the almost pointless practice of trying to create outcome orientated strategies – that get eaten alive in the culture of organisations and in need of constant revision.

Image result for opportunity

If were not able in the culture of our organisations to create opportunities for young people and those who work them – then we might need to question what kind of young people orientated practice we are.

With an opportunity orientated strategy it is less affected, to an extent, by disruptions- because we do have slightly more agency in its realisation. Though even then the level of disruption can still disorientate strategy – especially if the resources become so slim that opportunity creation is minimalised – but again at that point- we will be spending time increasing our resources, changing approaches and adapting to the disruption –which might turn out to have surprising results. We might not have enough leaders to manage the youth club – so we take our presence and provision out onto the streets (for example) a change which might end up creating new opportunities – even more that we hadn’t predicted before hand.

In the opportunities might emerge the disruptions we are looking for. The next bright idea might emerge from the point of action.

References on Strategy and Management in Youthwork can be found on this page on this site: https://wp.me/P2Az40-QV- or via the menus above, and many more on strategy in youthwork and managing strategies can be found via the tags and menus. For further on this and maybe to develop the conversation, contact me via the menu and arrange training or workshops on the theme.

Special mention to Jon Ords book which talks about faith based management , and also in his introduction critiques the transformational leadership that has brought forward outcome orientated strategy building.

The 12 youthwork days of Christmas

Image result for 12 days of christmas

 

altogether now…..

 

On the 12 days of Christmas my youthworker gave to me…

12 annoying icebreakers

11 months of funding

10 broken ground rules

9 (or ninety) games of ping pongImage result for table tennis

8 hr sessional contracts

7 jeffs and smith books

6 franchise projects (speaking of which..)

N….C…. S…….  (or if you cant bring yourself to say NCS, say D…B….S instead)

4 smart objectives

3 supervisions

2 junior leaders

and (deep breath) an annual report for the charities commission!

Just getting in there early with a bit of Christmas cheer, I hope your end of term, last few sessions, staff meal outs, final mentoring group for the term goes well, and that you have a restful and positive Christmas, ready for the challenges that 2018 might bring us all in the youth work community. Thank you for reading, sharing and being part of the ongoing conversation in youth work in the UK and I hope reflections from this site have been useful for you this year. Happy Christmas!

ps. this might not be the last post this year….