The main highlight of the past couple of months is that we have continued to be there for young people, delivering youth activities and mentoring throughout the summer holidays and into the new school term. Now that children are back in school, we are working closely with local primary and secondary schools to help manage this transition. We have also started to deliver a dedicated family support programme in the local area in response to current need and we are continuing to provide specialist mentoring and support to looked after young people in the care system. We have been working hard to ensure that our youth work adheres to government rules and is Covid-19 secure, with our teams operating in three distinct ‘bubbles’ to ensure that projects can continue to run safely.
The charity is continuing to run a very full programme of youth work projects in both Derby and Nottingham, with the support of funders including the Youth Endowment Fund, Children in Need, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Rank Foundation, St James Place Foundation, Derby City Council, Nottingham City Council, the Lucas Harrison Trust, Allenton Big Local and the Boots Charitable Trust. We were delighted to have recently been successful in securing additional funding from Children in Need through their ‘Next Steps’ programme to deliver a number of BETA programmes (Bravery Excellence Teamwork Adventure) for young people across both areas, providing additional support and development opportunities through this structured young leader development programme. All of our staff are now back at work and we have recently made additions to the team.
We have also recently started to work with Pilotlight, a dedicated business mentoring and development scheme provided to winners of the Weston Charity Awards, to review our business strategy and get the organisation in the best possible shape for moving forward. In addition, I was recently successful in securing a Rank Memorial Fund bursary, which will provide me with the opportunity to travel and spend time with the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit in Glasgow and Homeboy Industries, a project supporting ex-gang members in Los Angeles, over the next year. I am looking forward to learning from them in order to help benefit and develop our organisation in the future.
In ‘Get Connected’ news, we are pleased to have successfully completed the final SAYVE (Safeguarding Against Youth Violence) plan with the Blyth Get Connected participants this week. Although face-to-face work in the West Midlands is currently on hold, the mapping work completed through Get Connected so far has informed and helped shape commissioning of services through the Violence Reduction Unit. Caleb and I were also recently approached to deliver a community engagement session for people from the Home Office, which we presented (virtually!) to over 100 participants.
We’re really pleased that Caleb, who has been with us for over 10 years in different capacities from volunteer to senior manager, has got an exciting new job at the Youth Endowment Fund which he starts in November and he will always be part of the Enthusiasm Family.
Work on the renovation of our MUGA (Multi Use Games Area) at Cotton Lane, which is being funded by Sport England and local community funding, is now underway and we are looking forward to seeing this develop into a fantastic facility for the whole community over the next few weeks. You can find out more about this project in this article from Marketing Derby:
We continue to work to meet the challenges of adapting our activities and preparing for the unknown. However, our focus remains firmly on reaching those young people who would otherwise slip through the net.