WEEKLY COLUMN BY THE STAFFORDSHIRE YOUTH COMMISSION
A partnership is where “parties agree to cooperate to advance their mutual interests” (Wikipedia). Put simply, it’s where organisations work together because it is beneficial for them to do so.
In the youth sector, it is so important to work with other, like-minded organisations. The benefits are endless. For one, you are without a doubt more likely to reach more people, which in turn means that your work is going to have a bigger impact. Secondly, the responsibilities and decision-making are shared, which means that tasks can be assigned based upon skills and abilities. This means that projects receive the best from everyone involved.
Working in partnership means that different people from different organisations collaborate together, which can support the education of staff (or in our case, volunteers!), and help with the production of fresh and creative ideas. After all, we always say that a new pair of eyes can take a project from mediocre to sensational!
The work of the Staffordshire Youth Commission is often a result of projects with partners. For example, our upcoming campaign in December 2019 – which will focus on antisocial behaviour – is being designed not only by ourselves but also with support from South Staffordshire’s Fun Club Hub youth groups provision and Nacro College, in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.
The diversity of the two localities of these partners means that we are gathering a wide range of opinions and ideas, from both young people and professional staff. This ensures that our campaign is inclusive of the issues across different areas in Staffordshire and appropriate for county-wide delivery. Fancy getting involved in the Youth Commission’s work? Apply here.
A partnership that we’re especially proud of this year is with the West Midlands, Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Prince’s Trust programmes. The Prince’s Trust is a highly reputable organisation which delivers a variety of programmes to young people who are unemployed and not in education or training.
Their programmes are infamous for changing lives and we are delighted to be linked with them through our facilitating company, Safer Communities CIC, who help with the delivery of their Staffordshire programmes.
The Prince’s Trust has piloted our Educational Toolkit throughout 2019 and continue to receive the sessions on a trial basis. This allows us to seek feedback from their students and make continuous improvements to ensure that they are perfected for the launch of the Educational Toolkit in February 2020!
We see it as a win-win really: their students are receiving education on important topics (such as knife crime, body image, and self-care) and we’re developing and designing an innovative piece of work that will be available to practitioners across Staffordshire and beyond.
We are always seeking new partnerships and have a specific project in mind, too. The Staffordshire Youth Commission‘s Educational Toolkit touches on some sensitive issues and we feel that it’s only right that we share information on the local and national support services available.
That’s why we’re looking to partner up with support organisations so that we can provide printable e-leaflets (provided by them) to accompany each session that each student can take away. If you’re interested in this opportunity (which will see your organisation be discussed across the county!) please email us.
After all, it’s our job to keep the young people in Staffordshire – and beyond – safe, together.
Olivia – Staffordshire Youth Commission Project Coordinator