Youth Work Counts 2014: Our Storify

Youth Work Counts 2014 proved a fantastic event – check out our Storify to see how it went and keep up-to-date.



Keeping youth services at the top of the agenda

Youth Work Counts delegates will be able to hear from and pose questions to a variety of leading figures who are passionate about supporting young people next week.

Funders and key stakeholders will come together with Ambition and UK Youth members to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the youth sector and young people.

We will be welcoming representatives from the Cabinet Office, which a year ago began leading on youth strategy and policy.

Through the event Ambition and UK Youth will bring their networks together for the first time to share effective practice, inspire and support each others’ work.

In total more than 130 delegates including young people and youth workers will attend the two-day event at Leeds Marriott Hotel.

Julie Hilling MP, a former youth worker by profession who now co-chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Youth Affairs, will discuss Government priorities for youth during Monday’s session.

She said: “With cuts to youth work funding across the UK, this conference is a timely opportunity to discuss how young people can be best supported through non-formal education in what can be difficult times.

“I’m delighted to be invited to address the conference and discuss with practitioners how we can defend and promote these most important services for young people.”

Guest Blog: I want you to remember these 8 things about social media

During Youth Work Counts Keren Lerner and Tamsin Fox-Davies will be delivering workshops for delegates around digital marketing. Check out the below post from Keren’s blog, listing some key points for consideration when using social media to achieve your organisation’s aims.

I do a lot of 1-2-1 training for people on social media. They come in at all levels – complete beginners who don’t get what all the fuss is about but are feeling the pressure – to more frequent users who want to get real results out of their activity.

Sometimes I do an “overview of social media” for people who want to get their heads around using it in their marketing, and understanding which channel is used for what. I also do specific training sessions on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. You can read more about this here.

After a recent social media intro overview session I followed up with an email, as I really wanted to ensure my client remembered certain concepts. And a long email is often potential content for a blog post – a little bonus tip for you! In the spirit of generosity (which is part of what social media is all about!) I thought I would share it with you.

8 things you need to remember about social media

It’s not about making a sale – it’s about making an impression. Social media is just a way of using free online communication channels for the purpose of marketing. From good marketing comes awareness, reputation, and trust. From those comes more sales.

A year from now you will wish you had started today (quote by Karen Lamb) – when I train people on each individual channel, it takes me an hour and a half and of course after that people need to get stuck in and practice.

If your business relies on reputation, contacts, a network, other human beings and referrals, then your business can benefit from social media. But you need to learn how to use the channels properly. You don’t have to do everything all at once. Take the time to get to know the different channels at your own pace – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Blogging and YouTube. You can also look at Pinterest, Foursquare, Instagram. It’s not all necessary but they are all there for you, free to use, and quite quick to learn – I know because I train people to use them!

Attention to detail is still important. Just because tweeting, status updating, and blogging are relatively quick forms of communication, it’s important to watch your grammar and spelling, and caption and label things correctly where appropriate. We are still talking about the impression you are making for your business.

LinkedIn is necessary if you are an adult, human and working. It’s the most trusted network. People will look you up on LinkedIn before meeting you. It’s a way of keeping in touch with your network, wherever you go in your career, wherever they go in theirs. So put some effort into your LinkedIn profile.

Twitter takes the most time to get your head around, mainly because in a way its got its own language. Hashtags, @ signs, RTs, followers, following, Twitter lists, who to talk to, how often to tweet –all those things take getting your head around. But I regularly train people within 1.5 hours and they learn this stuff, and they get it. And Twitter is so huge in potential, it’s worth it.

Plan ahead. When it comes to your blog and your Facebook page, having a content planning calendar will help you keep your posts varied, relevant, appealing to your audiences and within your niche. I regularly run content planning sessions (with lots of headlines) with clients so get in touch if you want to book a session.

A good headline will help bring more traffic to your content. Keep working on this and improving your headlines. I am working on a headline writing advice post now so will share when it’s ready.

Hopefully these points have made you feel happy and more confident about social media. If you want help, I am here for you. Leave a comment below, tweet me or get in touch some other way. Happy to answer questions!

Counting down to Youth Work Counts!

Representatives of a one-million strong network of young people accessing youth clubs and community projects are set to join forces for the Youth Work Counts conference, led by Ambition and UK Youth.

The leading national youth charities will come together on 16-17 June to host the conference, which aims to highlight the vital work done by their member youth organisations in supporting some of the UK’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged young people.

A number of high-profile keynote speakers have signed up to take part in the event, to be held at Leeds Marriott Hotel, ready to share their knowledge and experience. Already confirmed are the Big Lottery Fund’s England Director, Dharmendra Kanani, the National Citizen Service Trust’s Chief Executive, Michael Lynas, and Charlotte Hill, Chief Executive of the Step Up To Serve campaign.

From Chief Executives to youth workers and young people, delegates from across the youth sector will have the opportunity to network with funders, MPs and other key stakeholders. They will share effective practice through a series of topical workshops designed to strengthen their work with and on behalf of young people, on subjects including youth participation, demonstrating impact and private sector partnerships.

Michael Lynas commented: “NCS delivers life-changing experiences to young people and this is down to the hard work, dedication and expertise of our delivery partners. Many of these organisations are represented at the Youth Work Counts event. At NCS Trust we want to deepen our partnership with the hundreds of organisations already delivering NCS and build new relationships with many more.”

Dharmendra Kanani said: “Improving the life chances of young people is a crucial theme of our funding through initiatives such as Talent Match, HeadStart and Youth in Focus. This conference is a brilliant opportunity to come together and share learning and experiences with other organisations passionate about helping young people to live fulfilling lives.”

Youth clubs and community projects make a huge difference to developing the skills, confidence and resilience of young people in challenging times, and UK Youth and Ambition are proud to collectively support around 11,000 of these through their regional members.

Dominic Cotton, Chief Executive of UK Youth, said: “I’m really excited at the prospect of bringing both UK Youth’s and Ambition’s national networks together for the first time. Together we present an incredibly powerful message about the value of providing young people with opportunities to learn and succeed outside the classroom.”

Helen Marshall, Chief Executive of Ambition, added: “Ambition is always seeking new ways to strengthen support available to our members and benefit youth clubs, community projects and young people across the UK. We’re excited to be working with the wider sector in this collaborative conference, to demonstrate our commitment to improving youth services nationally and ensure young people continue to receive the best possible opportunities for their futures.”

Why is youth sector collaboration so important?

Together the charities UK Youth and Ambition support more than one million young people aged 8-24 via a network of 11,000 youth clubs across the UK.

Reduced government funding has hit the youth sector hard and the need to collaborate, pool resources and share expertise has never been greater.

At present there is no central government investment in youth clubs and as a result many face an uncertain future.  Most clubs receive the majority of their funding from local authorities, although the real value of this has reduced significantly in the last three years as there is no ring-fenced funding for youth services.  The support provided by the UK Youth and Ambition’s networks enables club leaders and youth workers to access project funding, share expertise, problem-solve, collaborate and celebrate the achievements of the young people they support.

It’s been great having UK Youth develop national projects before supporting us to deliver them locally. This means we can access funding and activities that would otherwise be beyond us.” Alex Fairweather, CEO Greater Manchester Youth Network, UK Youth Member.

Being part of Ambition enables me to better understand the national picture, provides opportunities to influence key individuals and benefit from the expertise of my peers.” Chris Hindley, CEO Youth Federation, Ambition Member.

The annual conference provides a vital opportunity for members to network, share effective practice and communicate with UK Youth and Ambition staff.   It also provides a perfect opportunity for UK Youth and Ambition to engage members, build relationships and to communicate future plans and aspirations.

We hope you will join us in June.