Strategic Work

Centre for Youth Impact – Regional Impact Network for the North East

Led by Youth Focus North East, The Regional Impact Network is open to any organisation working with young people in the North East of England that has an interest in developing their impact measurement practice.
The Impact Network is supported by the Centre for Youth Impact (CYI) and is one of seven Regional Impact Networks across the country. 
The network exists to support youth organisations to undertake meaningful evaluation and impact measurement. It does this by providing a ‘safe space’ in which members can share issues or challenges that they are facing in their work, seek advice from peers, and access support that enables them to develop solutions that work for them and that will inform their practice.
We aim to support network members to:
    • Be better able to assess, appraise and interpret evidence.
    • Strive to improve the quality of the evidence that they are gathering and use that evidence to inform practice.
    • Be more confident in applying their technical skills and knowledge to plan and undertake meaningful evaluations.
Collectively, we want to hold each other to account on:
    • Ensuring that we keep young people at the centre of any impact measurement and evaluation.
    • Improving the quality of the evaluations we undertake.
    • Using the findings from any impact measurement and evaluation to inform ongoing delivery and practice.
To sign up to join the Regional Impact Network for the North East contact office@youthfocusne.org.uk 

Network of Regional Youth Work Units – England

A Network of Regional Youth Work Units, in England, collaborating across regions to promote good youth work and young people’s voices

The Network of Regional Youth Work Units: England brings together independent organisations working across the youth work sector at regional level in six English regions.
Youth Focus North East is proud to be the Regional Youth Work Unit (RYWU) for the North East of England.
RYWU’s act as hubs for developing and supporting youth work in their regions, working with commissioners, providers and young people themselves to ensure the sector is well-informed, skilled and responsive to changes in government policies and young people’s needs.
The Network supports and strengthens the capacity of RYWUs, sharing and promoting best practice. We work with a range of national and regional organisations to develop new initiatives and joint partnerships for the benefit of youth work and young people.
In addition, the Network provides a bridge between national policy and initiatives, and local policy and delivery – enabling communication and supporting new developments.
The network has representation on the following forums and working groups:
    • NYA/JCS’s Education and Training Standards Committee England  
    • National Youth Policy Advisory Group
    • Youth Voice DCMS
    • Institute for Youth Work
At present our members cover 6 of the 9 regions and we aim to recruit relevant organisations to join the network and support youth work in the other 3 regions over the next 1-2 years.

Political Identities Project

In partnership with Youth Focus North West and Partnership for Young London we are delivering a youth-led initiative exploring how young people from different social groups and different regions of the UK define their identities. Young people are undertaking research in each region and using multi-media approaches to explore the ways in which they express who they are and how they want to be represented.
The focus is on structural inequalities, the impact of power and privilege, stereotyping, and its interplay in young people’s lives.
This is a pilot project to establish our partnership, develop our research methodology and to hopefully design a long term project on the theme of ‘Identity’ with young people

Project Context

Identity has become of the most important issues; with recent events throwing up questions for this generation about what it means to a young person in Britain. They are being forced to explore what it means to be British, English, Irish, Scottish, European, while increasing acting from an identity perspective, be it gender (Women’s March), race (Black Lives Matter), sexual orientation, or on single issues as an environmentalist. Covid has added further context and complexity, with terms such as the ‘Covid Generation’ being used as another identity label. Yet this growing diversity in the ways that young people identify themselves comes during a background of often negative portrayals, as victims or perpetrators of serious crime, or stereotyped as lazy and disinterested.
The focus of this project will be on not just exploring that diversity, but celebrating it, challenging the increasingly homogenised view of young people.

Partnership with National Youth Agency (NYA)

The NYA is one of the leading national charities for youth work in the UK and was created in 1964 to act as the national body for the youth work profession. The NYA has three strategic objectives which explain the scope of their work:
    • Create opportunities for young people
    • Developing a skilled and effective youth sector workforce
    • Influencing practice [youth work] through policy and research
Youth Focus North East are working in partnership with the NYA to deliver a number of programmes and initiatives aimed at meeting our collective objectives and to provide support to, and with, our sector.
Youth Worker Bursary Fund Programme
This is a national initiative to open up career pathways in youth work. Youth Focus North East are the North East delivery partner and in its first year the fund has widened access and secured youth work training for Levels 2 & 3 qualifications.
The New National Youth Work Curriculum
This National Youth Work Curriculum, co-created with YFNE and a wide range of sector partners and experts, enables a greater understanding of youth work practice, provides an educational framework and acts as a reference tool to be used by decision makers, policy makers, commissioners, youth workers and young people.
Covid – Youth Work Expert Group
Currently Youth Focus North East are pleased to be working with the NYA, and other members of the expert group, to discuss the unprecedented challenges faced by youth work organisations in England as a result of COVID-19. The Group, convened by the NYA, have collaborated to produce a website, Youth Work Support,  compiling the most relevant COVID-19 advice and tools and making them accessible to the sector.
Routes to Success Project
The project is supporting the delivery of activities designed to support communities through the COVID-19 crisis. Young people have been severely impacted by the pandemic and lockdown and Youth Workers are faced with supporting them to navigate a range of challenges. Phase one of the Routes to Success project is focused on two specific areas: 
    • Developing Sector Practice 
    • Organisational Development Programme