YMCA Manifesto 2015 Accommodation Family Work Health and Wellbeing Training and Education Youth and Democracy

YMCA Manifesto 2015 Accommodation Family Work Health and Wellbeing Training and Education Youth and Democracy
YMCA Manifesto 2015


Family Work
Health and Wellbeing

Training and Education
Youth and Democracy
YMCA Manifesto 2015 Accommodation Family Work Health and Wellbeing Training and Education Youth and Democracy

                                      YMCA is over 170 years old yet our mission     society – not through top down direction
                                      today is as relevant as it was in 1844. From   but by responding at a grass roots level; by
                                      humble beginnings in the shadow of St.         listening to the young people and families
                                      Paul’s Cathedral, YMCA has grown to be the     we support.
                                      largest and oldest youth charity in the
                                      world whilst still remaining true to the       In order to be true to the nature of our
                                      principles of why Sir George Williams          foundations, this manifesto is rooted in the
                                      founded the charity – the desire to love,      views and experiences of those YMCAs seek
                                      support and develop those around us.           to serve. As such this has been the most
                                                                                     engaging manifesto consultation in our
                                      The world may be a different place to          history, focussing on those who breathe the
                                      what it was all those years ago but the        day-to-day life into YMCAs – its staff, chief
                                      aspirations of the young people that           executives, trustees, service users and most
                                      YMCA works with are no different – to be       importantly young people.
                                      educated, to work, to have a purpose, to
                                      have a place to call home and to be loved.     From the outset YMCA England wanted to
Contents                              However, the world we live in is one where     present a manifesto which truly reflected
                                      access to employment remains a challenge       the feelings of our Federation. Contained
Foreword                         3    for some, the services our communities         within this manifesto are messages of
                                      depend on have been reduced and the            change to government; not always ones
Introduction                     4    economic realities in which YMCAs must         which are easily achievable but ones which
Accommodation                    6    operate are increasingly challenging.          are necessary if we want to live in a society
                                                                                     which truly supports and develops young
Training and Education           12
                                      YMCA understands that governing means          people in our communities. One message
Health and Wellbeing             18   difficult decisions and requires tough         that is absolutely clear is that YMCA today –
                                      choices to be made. However we want            like every other day for the past 170 years –
Family Work                      26
                                      to ensure that young people, who are           stands ready, willing and able to deliver
Democracy and Youth Engagement   30   often the forgotten voices in society,         this change for government, society and
                                      are not disproportionately affected by         young people.
                                      those decisions.

                                      YMCAs have had the privilege of being
                                      around for so long because they have
                                      constantly adapted to the needs of the
                                      communities in which they serve.
                                                                                     Denise Hatton
                                      This approach is one which enables
                                      YMCA to truly reflect the needs of our         Chief Executive, YMCA England
Cover: Romario, 18

YMCA Manifesto 2015 Accommodation Family Work Health and Wellbeing Training and Education Youth and Democracy
YMCA is the largest and oldest charity        YMCA cannot solve the problems of
working with young people in the world.       poverty alone. What we can do is work
Across England there are 114 YMCAs. Each      with government and key policy makers
one a thriving and active community – a       to put in place the necessary measures to
community that seeks to change the lives      tackle the causes of poverty; whilst also
of young people and their families.           every day working to mitigate the impact
                                              that poverty has upon young people.
YMCA enables people to develop their
full potential in mind, body and spirit.      All of the recommendations made within
Inspired by, and faithful to, our Christian   this manifesto will help many young
values, YMCA creates supportive, inclusive    people to play active and fulfilling roles
and energising communities, where young       within their communities; offering
people can truly belong, contribute and       key opportunities to them and lifting
thrive. YMCA works with all young people      them out of poverty.
regardless of their background, gender
or faith. However, central to our work is     YMCA hopes our elected
supporting those most vulnerable and in       representatives in the next
communities with the greatest needs.          Parliament will share our vision.
It is these needs that this manifesto         Our young people are great –
seeks to address.                             let’s celebrate their
                                              achievements and support
Within the UK there are 3.5 million           them to achieve their
children living in poverty1 and this          full potential.
impacts on every area of a young
person’s development. From their
long-term health, attainment at school,
access to employment – poverty is the
single biggest factor in determining the
future prospects of a child.
                                                                                           Josh, 18

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YMCA Manifesto 2015 Accommodation Family Work Health and Wellbeing Training and Education Youth and Democracy
We provide just
                                                                                                                                             under 10,000
Accommodation                                                                                                                                beds every night.
We believe that every young person
should have a safe place to stay

Not having access to quality housing          housing to solve the current housing crisis    Housing benefit has become a vital              However there are two clear issues at
can have a huge impact on the life of a       in this country. YMCAs, recognising this       component in allowing young people to           present within the system:
young person. Poor housing increases          as an issue, have already developed their      access the private rented sector; acting as a
the risk of a young person suffering from     own alternative models such as Y:Cube.3        safety net for those most in need of support    • There is little consistency in how
ill health, lower educational attainment,                                                    by supplementing affordability. However            sanctions are being applied across the
unemployment and poverty.                     The introduction of a ‘Help to Rent’           low pay and increasing rent has meant that         country. As a result young people have
                                              scheme nationally would give people who        Housing Benefit is now also supplementing          little confidence in Jobcentre Plus, who
It is recognised that not enough new          are not in a position to be able to save the   those in work to be able to sustain a home.        to them, seem to sanction on the basis
homes have been built over the past           initial deposit an important helping hand      There has already been public debate about         of needing to deliver financial savings,
generation and this has contributed           in moving into the private rented sector.      the prospect of removing automatic Housing         rather than a thorough evaluation of
to a lack of low cost housing available       There are excellent examples of these          Benefit entitlement for young people and           the facts in each case. This is perhaps
for young people and first time buyers.       already being run by local authorities,        YMCA believes strongly that such a move            underlined by the fact that in nearly half
As such there are now over 7.6 million        housing associations and charities, but        would have a catastrophic impact upon              of cases reconsidered, the decision was
households in England living in rented        we urge the next government to be at           young people.                                      not to apply the sanction.6
accommodation.2 Such is the demand            the forefront of introducing a national
for housing that it is critical that the      scheme, similar to the concept of the          YMCA has significant concerns that recent       • The level of sanctions are too severe and
next Government takes what will be bold       ‘Help to Buy’ scheme.                          welfare reforms seem to be having a                needs to be more graduated. Even for
decisions to address the supply of housing.                                                  disproportionate impact upon young                 what is deemed a low level offence such
For YMCA we are particularly concerned        In addition to the large deposit young         people. For example 26% of welfare                 as missing an appointment, benefits can
about the supply of housing for young         people identified high charges by              claimants are under the age of 25, yet             be stopped for at least a month. This is
people; their experiences within the rental   letting agents as a significant barrier        41% of sanctions that are being applied            having an immense impact on young
market, and with soaring house prices         to individuals being able to access the        are against young people.4                         people and YMCA argues that this needs
how young people will ultimately be able      private rented sector. The recent upsurge                                                         to be changed.
to get on the housing ladder.                 in the private rental market seems to          YMCA is not necessarily opposed to a form
                                              have exacerbated the situation and             of sanctions. Indeed research undertaken
The next Government needs to invest in        YMCA believes that this whole area             by YMCA England has consistently shown
the development of alternative models of      needs to be regulated.                         that young people are in favour of a
                                                                                             sanctions regime.5

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YMCA Manifesto 2015 Accommodation Family Work Health and Wellbeing Training and Education Youth and Democracy

u    romotion of further investment
    P                                    u    he current benefit sanction
    in building low-cost homes               regime should be reformed. New
    specifically targeted at single          guidelines should be introduced
    young people.                            to ensure a consistent approach
                                             is taken throughout Jobcentre
u   I ntroduce a national ‘help to          Plus in the application of
     rent’ scheme.                           sanctions; together with changes
                                             to the length of sanction periods
u   I ntroduce a rental cap to reduce       to make them less draconian for
     the amount landlords can                first and less serious offences.
     increase rents annually.
                                         u   F unding to be made available
u    educe the upfront costs to
    R                                         to enable significant research
    tenants by regulating the fees            and development in alternative
    letting agents can charge them.           models of accommodation.

u    oung people moving into
    Y                                    u    tilise previously occupied
    the private rented sector from           business spaces and redevelop
    supported accommodation                  them into suitable low-cost
    are assisted through a more              accommodation.
    graduated tail off in the
    benefit system.

u    ousing Benefit entitlement
    remains unchanged for
    young people.

                                                                                 Destiny, 20

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YMCA Manifesto 2015 Accommodation Family Work Health and Wellbeing Training and Education Youth and Democracy

                Y:Cube – YMCA London South West
                Recognising that young people were
                increasingly struggling to afford
                the cost of private rent YMCA London
                South West, in partnership with Roger Stirk
                Harbour + Partners, developed Y:Cube.

                Y:Cube provides self-contained and
                affordable starter accommodation for
                young people who are unable to either
                gain a first step on the housing ladder or
                                                              Y:Cube uses a pre-constructed ‘plug
                pay the high costs of private rent.
                                                              and play’ modular system which enable
                The unique off-site construction and          the streamlined units to stack easily on
                design system provides high quality           top or alongside each other, making it
                accommodation which can be built              completely adaptable to the size and
                quicker, and crucially cheaper, than using    space available and therefore perfect for
                traditional methods of construction.          tight urban sites.

                                                              Construction of the first Y:Cube Housing
                                                              scheme in the UK started in November
                                                              2014, providing 36 homes for local people
                                                              in need of housing. The scheme will be
                                                              built on a brownfield site in the London
                                                              Borough of Merton.

Dylan, 15

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YMCA Manifesto 2015 Accommodation Family Work Health and Wellbeing Training and Education Youth and Democracy
Training and Education

We believe that every young person
should be able to fulfil their full potential

Often the young people who access YMCA
services will have few qualifications and
                                                 to suggest it is not being treated as a
                                                 specialist service and is being delivered by
                                                                                                                   We help 43,000 people
little or no experience of the workplace.
As a result job opportunities can be limited
                                                 teachers rather than IAG professionals.7
                                                                                                                   engage in training and
                                                                                                                   education every year.
and a young person can quickly find              As such young people are not being made
themselves in a succession of short-term,        aware of the different pathways available
part time, zero-hour contract based jobs         and especially those alternatives to
with periods in and out of benefits. There       mainstream educational pathways such
are many contributing factors as to why          as vocational training and apprenticeships.
a young person reaches a YMCA in this            The inclusion of employers and businesses
position and there is much the Government        in the classroom and introducing work
could be doing to address this.                  experience as a compulsory element of
                                                 secondary school education would also
Leaving secondary education without the          aid the widening of a young person’s level
necessary qualifications can potentially         of understanding prior to making decisions
damage a young person’s prospects. As            on their future.
such, additional funding should be made
available to schools to target those young       The Government’s focus and drive for
people less likely to succeed, raising their     apprenticeships as an alternative option       to better themselves. However despite              Furthermore, one of the most consistent
attainment levels and allowing them to           for young people is welcomed. However,         having the opportunities in front of them,         complaints from young people is the
have an equal chance of success.                 the application of this in practice has not    for some young people the traditional              regulations around the 16-hour rule and
                                                 been as successful. There still remains        journey through the education system               the impact it has on their ability to gain
Regardless of ability, it is difficult to make   a difficulty in availability for particular    can be disrupted by having to deal with            adequate training whilst on benefits.10
the right educational and career choices         age groups in accessing apprenticeships8       difficult personal circumstances that              Due to the limited number of part-time
without being fully informed of the raft         and being able to maintain participation       prohibits them from progressing the first          courses available, the 16-hour rule stops
of options available and the quality of          on one is challenging when in receipt of       time around. It is for these young people          a substantial amount of training being
careers information, advice and guidance         Housing Benefit or a low wage.                 that accessing training and education at a         undertaken and hinders the development of
(IAG) has traditionally been patchy at best.                                                    later stage is vital. However, a barrier to this   young people whilst in receipt of benefits.
Whilst the duty being placed on schools to       At the heart of YMCA’s beliefs is that young   is the removal of entitlement to full-time
deliver this is welcomed, there is evidence      people should always have the opportunity      education for those over 19 years old.9

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YMCA Manifesto 2015 Accommodation Family Work Health and Wellbeing Training and Education Youth and Democracy

u    he Government should extend
    T                                      u    orkplace experience should
                                               W                                       u    oung people in the first instance
    the upper age limit for funding of         become a compulsory element                 should be able to source their
    education and training from 19 to          for schools to provide to students          own training schemes and have
    21 years old.                              in years ten and eleven.                    the opportunity to make the case
                                                                                           to their job centre work coaches
u A review of the current                 u    n inquiry should be set up into
                                               A                                           as to why it will improve their
    apprenticeships policy should be           the effectiveness of Jobcentre              employment prospects.
    undertaken with a particular               Plus in getting young people into
    focus on what additional                   employment.                             u    oung people should have
    incentives would help encourage                                                        travel costs for agreed training
    more companies to take on              u    mend the regulations which
                                               A                                           funded upfront and held against
    apprentices – particularly                 prevent young people from                   their benefits if receipts are
    those aged 16 to 24.                       participating on courses or                 not returned.
                                               training for over 16 hours
u Free or heavily discounted travel           per week whilst still claiming          u    hose who are in receipt of
    should be provided to those                Jobseeker’s Allowance or                    Housing Benefit should be
    studying an apprenticeship                 Universal Credit.                           entitled to continue receiving the
    when travelling to and from                                                            higher rate when participating on
    their training.                        u   J obcentre Plus should expand its          an apprenticeship.
                                                list of preferred training providers
u The provision of information,                to include voluntary sector            u    efocus funding available
    advice and guidance in schools              organisation within the local              to schools to provide early
    and colleges should be delivered            community.                                 intervention and targeted
    by professional careers specialists.                                                   support for those young
                                           u   J obcentre Plus advisors should            people not meeting national
u Engage employers and businesses              be trained and supported to                attainment levels.
    from the local community into               better understand the difficulties
    schools to give an insight into             and barriers that young people
    work and alternative pathways to            commonly face to enable them
    higher and further education.               to provide more tailored support.

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YMCA Manifesto 2015 Accommodation Family Work Health and Wellbeing Training and Education Youth and Democracy

Teesdale YMCA Training Centre
Teesdale YMCA Training Centre was set         cross-curriculum learning: Research – IT,
up as a direct result of listening to the     Materials – Maths/Science, Drawing out
needs of young people in the area who         and Scaling – Design and Technology,
were struggling within a traditional school   Narrative – English, Product Presentation –
environment and in need of accessing          Enterprise. These core learning objectives
education delivered in a different way.       are matched to the student’s individual
                                              learning styles with fantastic results.
The aim of the project is to allow young
people to learn in an environment that        Teesdale YMCA tackles issues around
suits their own style of learning. A more     behaviour, attainment, respect and issues
practical way of learning rather than         outside of school to engage students in
classroom based.                              a flexible way tailored to the individual
                                              based on the learning style and support
Teesdale YMCA offers English, Maths and       required; adapting to both their emotional
Science at GCSE standard and is also an       and educational needs.
accredited centre for NCFE, a vocational
equivalent to GSCE. These courses are         The results have been remarkable,
designed to help students problem solve       alongside a real shift in the students’
and learn through ‘designing and making’.     mindset towards education; where before
                                              it was a struggle and to some, not seen as
The project is supported by three tutors; a   relevant or important: it is now something
science teacher, a design and technology      they enjoy and aspire to progress in.
teacher specialising in textiles and a
carpentry/joinery teacher. The training       Teesdale YMCA had an Ofsted Inspection
centre has contracts with three local         in December 2014 and was graded
secondary schools delivering sessions         outstanding.
one-to-one or in small groups.

Teesdale YMCA puts the ‘product making’
at the centre of the learning experience
and uses an innovative approach to                                                          Bryce, 15

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Health and Wellbeing

We believe that everyone should be able                                                           Alcohol has a major impact on the health
                                                                                                  and wellbeing of young people. Although
                                                                                                                                                 UK population suffers from body image
                                                                                                                                                 anxiety, a leading cause of depression,
to enjoy the benefits of physical exercise,                                                       there has been a recent decline in the
                                                                                                  amount of time young people drink during
                                                                                                                                                 low self-esteem, poor participation at
                                                                                                                                                 school and lack of progression at work.
from improved health to better education                                                          the week they are now more prone to
                                                                                                  heavy episodic or binge drinking when
                                                                                                                                                 It particularly affects young people, with
                                                                                                                                                 children as young as five now worrying
and life chances                                                                                  they do.13 Accordingly this has resulted
                                                                                                  in an upward trend in admissions to
                                                                                                                                                 about how they look, and appearance the
                                                                                                                                                 largest single concern for a third of girls
                                                                                                  hospitals in England.14                        and a fifth of boys by the age of ten.15

YMCA has a unique approach to health and        and only 18% of 15 year olds achieve the          From speaking to young people we know          This is why YMCA is playing a major role
wellbeing. We recognise the relationships       Chief Medical Officers recommendation for         that limiting access to drugs and alcohol      in the Be Real Campaign,16 a national
that exist between the three pillars of         physical activity.12 The awareness of these       is the most effective way to stop usage.       movement made up of individuals, schools,
health; physical, psychological and social      guidelines outside of the sector is poor and      Accessing alcohol from shops is still          businesses, charities and public bodies.
wellbeing, and take an approach that aims       the guidelines themselves are difficult to        too easy and there should be stricter          YMCA believes that government has an
to treat health holistically. Through our own   understand and communicate to people.             punishments for selling alcohol to young       important role to play in regulating the use
research, we also believe that a service-       Poverty is also a significant indicator           people. Likewise those who attempt to buy      of negative body imagery in advertising
user led approach adds significant value to     in the likelihood of suffering health             alcohol on behalf of young people should       and encouraging health and body diversity.
a traditional health and wellbeing delivery     inequalities and it is clear that the toughest    also face stricter punishment.                 Alongside this the education received
model. Certainly when working with              communities require the most support.                                                            by young people at school should also
                                                                                                  When accessing alcohol, price is also          reflect concerns around body image and
disengaged young people we know that
                                                The reduction in youth provision budgets          a factor maintaining its widespread            the introduction of Personal Social Health
they are more likely to take health advice
                                                has also created a lack of activities for         availability. At the lower end of the market   Education (PSHE) as a mandatory subject
from a peer than from an adult or person
                                                young people to engage with and this has          alcohol is far too cheap and for very little   on the national curriculum and body
in authority.
                                                contributed to more young people staying          expense young people can become easily         confidence to be taught at primary and
Staying healthy is about the lifestyle          within their homes and engaging in non-           intoxicated. Alongside this the rise of        secondary level would support this.
choices we make and cost is seen by             physically based activities. The impact a         shops which sell ‘legal highs’ to young
many as one of the biggest issues to being      family has on a young person’s engagement         people is a worrying trend; currently
healthy and active. Where previously cost       in physical activity is vital for long-term       there is little action which can be taken
would not be a factor when accessing            engagement; physically active young               to protect young people from accessing
facilities the reduction in community           people are far more likely to go on to be         these highs and more powers should be
spaces in which young people can play           physically active adults and parents who          given to the police to combat this.
sports has resulted in the only options         will then pass on their lifestyle behaviours to
                                                                                                  We know that what it means to be healthy
available being the ones which have a           their own children. With physical inactivity
                                                                                                  is of importance to young people and the
financial cost associated with them. Nearly     contributing to more deaths than smoking it
                                                                                                  way their body and image is perceived
half of 16-25 year olds fail to play sport      is vital we build a culture and communities
                                                                                                  matters immensely. More than half the
once a week for 30 minutes or more11            that promote active lifestyles.

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u   ommitment to protect
   C                                   uA  coordinated awareness                u    tronger punishments on
                                                                                     S                                   u    he Government should put
   and enhance investment in              campaign to be launched which              shops that supply alcohol to            pressure on media, businesses
   community sport initiatives which      tackles the dangers of using               underage customers and those            and advertisers to act responsibly
   engage young people in physical        alcohol and drugs irresponsibly.           who try to buy alcohol illegally.       and actively promote different
   activity, particularly in areas        This should be delivered in                                                        body shapes, sizes, ages and
   of high deprivation and where          schools and youth clubs through        u    SHE to be made mandatory
                                                                                     P                                       ethnicities.
   traditionally communities have         innovative and interactive                 on the national curriculum and
   been most hard to reach.               methods which use strong and               body confidence to be taught at     u    he Government has an
                                          shocking examples and imagery.             primary and secondary level.            important role to play in
u Consider simplifying the Chief                                                                                            regulating the use of negative
   Medical Officer guidelines on       u The Government’s ‘Talk to FRANK’       u    he Department of Health
                                                                                     T                                       body imagery in advertising
   physical activity (or at least have    campaign was highlighted as                policies should focus on                and encouraging health and
   simpler public facing guidelines       being outdated and ineffective.            promoting healthy living and            body diversity.
   supported by the existing              This should be reformed and                wellbeing before weight loss
   quantifiable guidelines). Whilst       updated.                                   and appearance.
   these guidelines may often be
   communicated to the public by       u Introduce a minimum unit

                                                                                                                         712,000 children
   professionals they should be aimed     price of alcohol.
   and understood by everyone.

                                                                                                                         and adults get
                                       u More powers introduced to
u As deliverers of commissioned          support local police in combatting

                                                                                                                         active with us
   health and wellbeing projects,         the use of ‘legal highs’ by children
   including interventions to reduce      and young people.

                                                                                                                         every year.
   inactivity, YMCA feels that there
   should be better understanding      u Expansion of early intervention
   and training across health             programmes to support parents
   professionals of the importance        who have drug and alcohol
   of physical activity.                  problems to help break the cycle
                                          of these problems being passed
                                          down to their children.

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Rise in poor mental health
amongst young people

Poor mental health can have a dramatic
impact on the prospects of a young
                                             access the job centre found that staff were
                                             not aware of the complexities of their
person’s life and more than half of all      needs and unresponsive when informed.19
adults with mental health problems           Training on how to support young people       u    campaign should be introduced
                                                                                               A                                  u    he age limit for Child and
were diagnosed during their childhood.17     accessing both Child and Adolescent               which raises awareness of mental       Adolescent Mental Health
Although it was diagnosed in childhood       Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and                health issues and the available        Services responsibility to provide
less than half of these were not treated     Jobcentre Plus would be welcomed.
appropriately at the time and there
                                                                                               support targeted specifically at       care should be increased to 21
are still worrying trends that negative      For both young people and YMCA staff              young people.                          years old and where possible
consequences, such as self-harming           there is a complete lack of trust or                                                     a single key worker should be
amongst young people, are increasing.18      confidence in the National Health Service     u    ental health should be given
                                                                                               M                                      assigned to each young person to
                                             (NHS) to support them with poor mental
Awareness is still a significant issue       health. CAMHS are seen as ineffective,
                                                                                               the same priority as physical          ensure that continuity and trust
with young people suggesting that            unhelpful and poorly operated. The waiting        health with NHS budgets.               can be developed.
there is inadequate information in the       lists for an appointment are too long and
media, at school and on the internet         YMCAs have seen some instances where          u    he waiting times for Child
                                                                                               T                                  u    rofessionals working or
around what mental health is and             the wait for an appointment can be in                                                    frequently interacting with
                                                                                               and Adolescent Mental Health
how support can be accessed.                 excess of six months.
                                                                                               Services need to be cut with           young people should be trained
The importance of delivering mental          YMCA believes that the CAMHS age                  access to a first appointment          in mental health issues.
health guidance in settings familiar with    range needs to be reviewed. A number              available within one week.
young people is paramount. Nurses and        of cases have been identified where a
practitioners should come into schools       young person transferring from CAMHS
and work with young people to talk about     into adult mental health services has not
the issues. Additionally, more information   been adequate and they have effectively
should be available to those who interact    become lost in the system. Those who
with young people frequently. Teachers       have accessed CAMHS described the child
and youth workers would be ideally placed    element of the service to be good but the
to support young people at an early stage    services for adolescents to be extremely
but would need training to enable a          poor. It was felt that extending the age
greater understanding of mental health.      range for which CAMHS are responsible
                                             for to 21 would increase continuity and
Another area which could benefit from        renew focus on the 16-21 years where
more training on mental health issues        young people often have the highest
would be Jobcentre Plus. Our research        support needs.
has shown that those young people who

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Young Health Champions –
YMCA Worcestershire
The Young Health Champions project was      The idea was to get young people talking
a YMCA signature pilot programme that       about their own experiences, dispel some
was funded by the Department of Health.     of the myths that surround mental health
The ethos of the programme was to recruit   as well as signpost young people to the
and train young people as peer educators    appropriate services. The finished film
who can deliver across five key health      was used by the YHCs when delivering
topic areas.                                mental health awareness sessions in
                                            youth clubs and schools around the
The projects aim was to reduce health       local area.
inequalities among young people living
in areas of disadvantage by using young     After three successful years of the
volunteers as peer leaders. The Young       YHCs project YMCA Worcestershire
Health Champions (YHCs) provided            decided to focus the next stage on
support and leadership to hard-to-reach     raising awareness of mental health
young people so that they engaged more      issues in the Redditch area. This branch
effectively with local health and social    of the project has been funded by
care services. The YHCs took the lead in    Early Help and the CYP mental
working on session ideas and came up        wellbeing task group and is called
with the idea to make a mental health       the Mental Health Champions.
film with young people in Worcester.

                                                                                       Shannon, 17

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Family Work
                                                                                                                                                          55,000 children
                                                                                                                                                          and young people
We believe every family should have the                                                            domestic violence, overcoming breakups,
                                                                                                   an understanding of respect, the different
                                                                                                                                                          attended our out of
support they need to develop and lead                                                              types of relationships and the signs of
                                                                                                   a good and bad relationship. Whilst                    school and holiday
more fulfilling lives                                                                              an important element of relationship
                                                                                                   education should be around how to                      clubs last year.
                                                                                                   act within one there should also be an
                                                                                                   understanding that young people do not
The right start in life is crucial for the long-   authorities have had to operate under
                                                                                                   have to be in a relationship to be happy.
term development of a young person. It is          reduced budgets and there is consistent
for this reason that YMCA work with young          evidence which shows that youth services
people from birth through to adulthood –           have been an easy and frequent target
maintaining the support for them both as           when looking to make savings.20 Whilst a
individuals but also within a family unit.         statutory youth service would be ideally
                                                   placed to be a third pillar in supporting the
One way of addressing poverty within
families is to engage more parents into the
                                                   development of young people it must be          Recommendations
                                                   done within the context of the economic
job market. Currently the Government’s             climate. As such in order to be sustainable
policy of free childcare for three and four        the youth service must adapt its model to
                                                                                                   u    he 15 hours of free childcare
                                                                                                       T                                        u    n appropriate framework
year old children for 15 hours per week            deliver for young people in different ways.         available to the most                        should be introduced to inspect
and for the 40% most disadvantaged two                                                                 disadvantaged should be                      the scope, quality and impact of
year olds goes some way to achieving this.         There is significant scope for areas of             extended to all two year olds.               a local youth work offer.
However, this does not go far enough or            non-formal learning and pastoral care,
reach all families. As such there needs to         which are often part of a youth service,
be parity across the age ranges and the 15         to be delivered within schools by qualified     u    national strategy on childcare
                                                                                                       A                                        u    he relationship element of
hours should be extended to all two year           youth workers – supplementing the                   should be implemented to                     Sex and Relationships Education
olds and not just the most disadvantaged.          reduction in funding from local authorities         address the failure of the                   should be more explicitly set out
                                                   to be driven back into positive activities                                                       within the statutory guidance
The development of a young person is not                                                               current system to meet
                                                   for young people.
just confined to schools and parents as                                                                parental requirements.                       placed upon secondary schools.
there are many other influencing actors            Although there has been a statutory
in their lives and the youth service is            duty to provide Sex and Relationships           u    he Government should reclassify
an example of one which often plays a              Education in secondary schools since
                                                                                                       youth services as a statutory
positive role.                                     2010 there is still a significant lack of
                                                   the relationship education element                  service. Local authorities should
Over the past five years this role                 being taught. Relationships education               be required to have in a place a
has diminished significantly as local              should include exploring issues such as             youth services strategy.

26                                                                                                                                                                                  27

Nursery Provision – YMCA Bath
YMCA Bath has six nurseries with the first      of children with additional needs and
established in the City of Bath in 1988         English as an additional language. Using
and the remainder of the group in nearby        innovative new techniques the staff help
Wiltshire. Four of the nurseries are in areas   children to accept closeness and affection
of deprivation and three of these share the     where this has been missing in their lives.
site with local primary schools and children    YMCA helps them learn to express and
centres.                                        show their feelings and this can begin to
                                                repair their emotional damage.
The successes of the nurseries have
been based on their immersion into the          Alongside the emotional and educational
communities and the development of              needs of children, the development of
relationships with parents. Given the areas     their health is paramount to their chances
in which the nurseries are placed, debt is a    in life. As such an initiative has been put
common community issue and the policy           in place by Bath YMCA where parents are
is to tackle this as it arises and work with    encouraged to engage with the nursery
families to manage their fees without           cook. This ranges from providing
compounding their financial problems.           parents with copies of recipes to
This enables them to stay in work and           speaking individually with those
contribute to the economy.                      interested or those who are less
                                                confident on how to prepare
One of the high performing locations            nutritious meals.
is next to the YMCA hostel in Bath and
serves a number of deprived families
including those in poverty and those
abusing substances. It has a high number

                                                                                              Dj, 5 and Sarah, 27

28                                                                                                            29

Democracy and Youth Engagement
                                                                                           1.	Households Below Average Income, An analysis        11.	Sport England, Active People Survey 7 Q2, June 2013
                                                                                               of the income distribution 1994/95 – 2011/12,            http://archive.sportengland.org/research/active_

We believe that all young people should                                                        Tables 4.1tr and 4.3tr. Department for Work and
                                                                                               Pensions, 2013 https://www.gov.uk/government/

have a voice within society and be engaged
                                                                                               file/206778/full_hbai13.pdf                         12.	Association for Young People’s Health, Key Data
                                                                                                                                                        on Adolescence 2013, 2013

fully in local and national democracy                                                      2.	DCLG, English Housing Survey, July 2014
                                                                                               Households_Report_2012-13.pdf                       13.	ONS, Drinking, in ‘General Lifestyle Survey, 2011’,
                                                                                                                                                        March 2013
YMCA is committed to young people’s access and participation in democratic life            3.	YMCA London South West website                           www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/ghs/general-lifestyle-
and civil society.                                                                             www.ymcalsw.org/ycube/                                   survey/2011/rpt-chapter-2.html

                                                                                           4.	Department for Work and Pensions, Sanctions         14.	Institute of Alcohol Studies, Young People and
The young people that interact with our services or receive intensive support from             statistics, June 2014                                    Alcohol factsheet, 2013
us are passionate, articulate and active within their communities. As such YMCA                https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/                         www.ias.org.uk/uploads/pdf/Factsheets/
remains a long standing partner in the Votes at 16 Coalition and continues to advocate                                                                  Young%20people%20and%20alcohol%20FS%20
                                                                                           5.	YMCA England, Feeling the Benefits?: Signed on           May%202013.pdf
for young people both voting in elections from this age and standing as candidates.            and Sanctioned, 2014
                                                                                               www.ymca.org.uk/research/feeling-the-benefits      15.	All Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image,
                                                                                                                                                        Reflections on Body Image, 2012
                                                                                           6.	Department for Work and Pensions,
                                                                                               Sanctions statistics, June 2014                           resources/2014/12/15/reflections-on-body-
                                                                                               https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/                           image/
                                                                                           7.	Milburn, Unleashing Aspiration: The Final Report
u    he Government legislates that the
    T                                                                                          of the Panel on Fair Access to the Professions,
                                                                                                                                                   16.	Be Real Campaign website
    voting and candidate age for all                                                           July 2009
                                                                                               http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/        17.	Kim-Cohen, J., Caspi, A., Moffitt, TE., et al (2003):
    elections is lowered to 16.                                                                http:/www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/media/227102/             Prior juvenile diagnoses in adults with mental
                                                                                               fair-access.pdf                                          disorder. Archives of general psychiatry, Vol 60,
                                                                                           8.	Skills Funding Agency and Department for
                                                                                               Business Innovation and Skills, Breakdown by        18.	House of Commons, 28 November 2011, cols
                                                                                               age, gender and level: starts 2002/03 to 2012/13,        782-786W
                                                                                               March 2014                                               www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/
                                                                                               www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/             cmhansrd/cm111128/text/111128w0005.
                                                                                               fe-data-library-apprenticeships                          htm#1111297001597

                                                                                           9.	Wolf, Review of Vocational Education – The Wolf     19.	YMCA England, Feeling The Benefits?: Processed
                                                                                               Report, 2011                                             and Punished, 2014
                                                                                               www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/                   www.ymca.org.uk/research/feeling-the-benefits
                                                                                                00031-2011.pdf                                     20.	UNISON, The Damage, August 2014
                                                                                           10.	DWP, Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations, 2013            line%20Catalogue/22532.pdf
                                                                             Sabrina, 19        www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/378/contents/

30                                                                                                                                                                                                        31
YMCA England
                                                                          29-35 Farringdon Road
                                                                          EC1M 3JF

                                                                          Charity no: 212810

                                   YMCA enables people to develop their full potential in mind,
                                   body and spirit. Inspired by, and faithful to, our Christian values,
                                   we create supportive, inclusive and energising communities,
                                   where young people can truly belong, contribute and thrive.

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