Gathering Momentum: The London Regional

00058Over 50 people from a range of voluntary, statutory and higher education organisations from across London, Sussex and Kent turned up to Goldsmiths University of London on 19th May 2009 in support of the ‘In Defence of Youth Work’ statement penned by Tony Taylor. After hearing from Kalbir Shukra (Goldsmiths University of London) and Sue Robertson (University of Chichester) why a movement ‘in defence of youth work’ is so important and timely, the workshop participants discussed why they support the statement, drawing on their own experiences in youth work practice, management and training. The workshop participants called for a second meeting to take place on June 22nd to develop the campaign in the region and also to build support for the call to meet with people from other areas at a national conference. Workshop participants undertook to go back to workplaces and localities to discuss ‘in defence of youth work’ principles with colleagues.


Action points emerging from the workshop included:

  1. Identify how academic institutions that deliver training can be supported to deliver ‘in defence of youth work’ principles

  2. Clarify and articulate core values and any blocks to practice

  3. Challenge the application of terminology and language like NEETS and challenge the pathologisation that underlies the concepts/terms

  4. Find ways to evaluate our own practice

  5. Engage funders and other bodies in the campaign around ‘in defence of youth work’.

  6. Make alliances with other networks and people who work with young people in community settings

  7. Set up regular forums for critical debate, ensuring that the voluntary/statutory sectors and local/regional as well as those engaging with NVQs are included and any differences are acknowledged

  8. Ensure we are aware of upcoming policy changes and participate in policy development

  9. Make ‘in defence of youth work’ principles part of any new local inspection frameworks

  10. Identify the specific qualities of different types of youth work

  11. Join with other regions to organise a national conference

  12. Involve young people in our debates

  13. Consider a ‘no paperwork’ action day


Thanks to Kalbir for this report and Tania for the photos. More news to follow on what was a positive beginning to our programme of regional gatherings.

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