Sustenance for the Senses 1 – Loss, Loneliness, Narrative and Youth Policy

This is the first of the single regular weekly posting ‘Sustenance for the Senses’ promised in yesterday’s news that I’ll only be working one day a week for IDYW – Tony Taylor denies doing an MA in Entrepreneurial Philanthropy and being headhunted for a CEO Third Sector job. 

As of now, the posting will appear on Tuesday as the site statistics indicate that the highest number of visits occur on this day. Why? I haven’t a clue.


Lost Ys London

An impressive, thoughtful and thorough briefing London’s Lost Youth Services 2018 [pdf] produced by Sian Berry, Green Party member of the London Assembly.

Since 2011, the cumulative amount not spent on services for young people in
London is now more than £145 million.




ta to


Opening Words by 42nd Street’s youth co-researchers [on what I think is an exceptional piece of work TT]
We became involved in the research to learn more about youth loneliness because we are passionate about giving young people a voice – as experts in our own lives. We knew intuitively from our own experiences and those of our friends and family that youth loneliness is a really important but far from understood issue; we knew that it was a complex issue, with a whole host of causes and even wider implications on young people’s lives.

Janet Batsleer (MMU), James Duggan (MMU), Sarah McNicol (MMU), Simone Spray (42nd Street)


  • Develop new ways of thinking and talking about youth loneliness, beyond medicalised discourses of epidemics and towards more expansive understandings of youth and more inclusive ways of belonging.
  • Arts-based and creative methods create spaces and relationships where young people can find connection and navigate painful forms of loneliness.
  • Restore threatened youth work provision and fund a plurality of options so that all young people have someone who knows and accepts them for who they are.
  • Re-imagine interventions beyond individual funded projects and towards commons spaces and social movements to bring into being more co-operative and convivial communities.
  • Youth-led social action is necessary to develop the practical and political change, benefiting youth participants and their peers.


Spring Policy and Practice Seminar Programme – FREE Registration Via this Link

The Association’s FREE national, collaborative ‘Policy and Practice’ seminar programme continues to expand, and we have been delighted with the response. Registrations have topped 200 delegates (52 academics; 107 practitioners; 57 students) across the seminar programme. The aim of these seminars is to foster greater levels of collaboration between higher education institutions and practice agencies in the profiling of challenges and opportunities facing youth and community work policy and practice across the UK. Follow the link above for a full listing, or the unique links for each event found below (please note the ‘post-strike’ revised dates for Glasgow and Dumfries):

  1. Friday 20th April (Worcester) ‘Youth and Community Work in Transition’

  1. Friday 4th May (Carmarthen) ‘Young People, Resilience and Wellbeing’

  1. Tuesday 15th May (Newport) ‘Young People, Resilience and Wellbeing’

  1. Wednesday 16th May (Glasgow) ‘Developing a Charter for Post-Brexit Youth and Community Work’

  1. Thursday 17th May (Belfast) ‘Revisiting the Value of Faith-based Youth Work’

  1. Tuesday 22nd May (London) ‘The Changing Context for Youth Work Practice’

  1. Thursday 24th May (Dumfries) ‘Developing a Charter for Post-Brexit Youth and Community Work’

  1. Friday 25th May (Derby) ‘Youth Work and Inter-Professional Practice’

Given IDYW’s emphasis on both narrative and critical practice we can’t wait to get our hands on a copy. We quite fancy making the launch, but you can’t have everything………



Shifting and Changing : Policy and Practice, Protest and Resistance in Y&P 110


A belated, but warm as ever welcome to the latest edition of Youth & Policy, which sees contributions from a number of committed IDYW supporters.  You might well expect me to say this, but Y&P 110 is close to mandatory reading – even on the beach or in the park, whilst on holiday! OK that’s pushing it!

Youth work in a changing policy landscape: the view from England
Bernard Davies

‘I just love youth work!’ Emotional labour, passion and resistance
Tania de St Croix

It’s business as usual: Newcastle, commissioning and cuts
Michael Bell, Lizi Gray and Anne Marron

In addition there is something of a contrary call to speak a common language by Richard Davies. I am at one with him in desiring a fundamental engagement with what we mean by youth work today. As to whether his journey towards a framework for debate via Wittgenstein, MacIntyre and Rawls moves us on requires you to tangle with his argument. A passing reference to IDYW is revealing.  He suggests that our perspective is sociological and in this sense hostile to the ‘positive psychological’ turn of recent times, epitomised in my view by the profoundly ideological notion of the ’emotionally resilient’ young person. Certainly we are not keen on the present narrative, but not because we lean to the sociological rather than the psychological. The founding letter of the campaign is a defence of a theory and practice, within which at its best critical sociology,  critical psychology and radical politics are interwoven. Obviously we are less than convinced by the instrumental and behavioural emphasis of ‘positive psychology’. In terms of how we become who we are, the creation of our personalities, we make the case for an open and imaginative encounter between youth worker and young person about what makes them both tick. We argue for the creative resuscitation of a person-centred humanist approach to understanding each other. We are neither sociologists nor psychologists,  but informal educators.

Youth Work, ‘Protest’ and a Common Language: Towards a Framework for Reasoned Debate
Richard Davies

There’s much else besides, a revealing scrutiny of child labour in

Protecting Child Employees: Why the system doesn’t work
Jim McKechnie, Sandy Hobbs, Amanda Simpson, Cathy Howieson and Sheila Semple

and an excellent Reviewed section.

Download Youth and Policy 110 [pdf] in its entirety.