Norfolk based youth charity MAP (Mancroft Advice Project) has a track record of offering young people advice counselling and youth work. In the past the majority of MAP’s youth work funding has been targeted at specific groups of young people however more recently MAP have been awarded a significant amount of funding from the Big Lottery. The Youth Investment Fund (YIF) aims to provide young people aged 11-19 with open access youth provision across the Make it Happen and Comeunity patches. The work is much broader in scope than MAP’s previous projects. YIF is consulting with young people across Great Yarmouth and developing activities in response to young people’s feedback.
The patch-based structure of Neighbourhoods That Work, with Connectors embedded within, and a part of, the community is a perfect match for this new project. MAP was able to make an immediate start to the consultation exercise, attending the Make it Happen neighbourhood board meeting. Whilst at the meeting, before talking about YIF, Karla from MAP spoke about the Life Skills course that has been running from their town centre premises, and the challenge of recruiting young people. Members of the board suggested that the course be renamed and take place in the community centre in Cobholm. The Neighbourhood Manager pointed out that DIAL could add value by including financial literacy workshops, and it was suggested that the sessions could be open to both young people and older members of the community. Everyone felt this was something that people in their neighbourhood, young and old, would like to attend. As a result of this MAP and DIAL are collaborating and starting delivery of this project in October.
The YIF project has been able to start community consultation straight away, using the NTW community networks. Through the project a youth worker will be embedded within each of the two patches. As there is no specific NTW Connector role tasked with working with young people this fills a gap in provision for NTW, enabling it to reach another sector of the community. The youth workers will train community volunteers to work with young people, increasing opportunities to participate in positive activities that are sustained.
In the longer term communities will be more resilient as they will have provision for young people that takes place on their doorstep, sits alongside other community activity and seamlessly integrates with the breadth of support work offered by NTW.
Behind the scenes; GYBC Community Development Manager Holly’s perspective
- During the NTW 2016 study visit- an annual conference we host with the Big Lottery Fund to share our thinking, delivery and learning, I met with Paul, the Youth and Communities manager from MAP. We discussed how much he felt the NTW approach complemented their current thinking on how they wanted to develop their youth work offer in Great Yarmouth.
- We met a fortnight later to explore what we could progress together. Paul explained what MAP wanted to do and shared the outline of a bid they were preparing for the Youth Investment Fund. During our discussion we realised that GYBC’s Neighbourhood Management infrastructure (which NTW sits within) would be an ideal framework within which to site their project.
- Recognising the potential of this alignment, we wrote a supporting document to their bid, in an attempt to ensure funders that an investment in this project would be building upon a broader Place Based initiative, complementing, adding value, increasing reach, resources and effectiveness.
- It is fantastic to be able to congratulate MAP on their successful award of YIF funding and it’s been great to see the MAP team hit the ground running with patch teams and neighbourhod boards.