UK Programme Launch! Street Work comes home

7 August 2018

StreetInvest UK launch: Bringing Street Work home

On Friday 3rd August, we launched our UK Programme at our 10th anniversary celebration summer party.

We recognised that young people in the UK had a growing need for support and that mainstream service provision was becoming increasingly inadequate, inaccessible, or inappropriate. This was why we launched our UK work, bringing home the principles and practices of the detached youth work that we are delivering with partners in Asia, East and West Africa, and Central America.

We have already started supporting UK youth work partners to grow their capability to work directly with children for whom standard services aren’t an option. Plans are being finalised to partner with an Amersham youth club, and Northern Ireland statutory body, and we have already made visits to meet with the local young people.

We will advocate for the UK’s young people on the local, national and international stage. We will establish a UK presence in our international network of street work partners, bolstering StreetInvest’s existing response to the world’s most excluded children by bringing UK organisations in. We will also establish a bespoke UK Young People’s forums, run by and for the young people we aim to support.

We are in the process of creating a new UK training suite, with tailored modules on youth work to cater for the different levels of experience that people we partner with in the UK have of working with young people. This will enable us to support young people, by offering our training to those that interact with them, from youth workers, to teachers, to community groups.

All of this will be done to help the UK’s hardest to reach young people to develop positively, and minimise the stigma and discrimination towards them.

StreetInvest and Pro Bono Economics have already launched a report on the state of detached youth work provision in the UK. The report, Demonstrating the value of a trust-based approach to working with detached young people, was compiled by Economist volunteers Dr Vindelyn Smith-Hillman and Michael Duncan.

It details current evidence of detached youth work, and considers an approach for further evaluating its merits. During the course of the project, 213 Freedom of Information (FOI) requests were made to UK local authorities, with a 79% response rate.

You can download a copy of the report below.

As with all of our work, our UK activity will rely on the kindness of our supporters backing us to make lasting change to the lives of children and young people. Our Big Give Campaign this year, which opens on the 27th November, will raise money for the UK Programme.

UK detached young people are the same as young street-connected people around the world. Their environments might be different, but they face the same personal challenges, the same stigma, and the same discrimination as children on the streets of Kolkata, Accra and Mombasa. The launch of the UK Programme completes our global reach, and marks the start our commitment to help the young people in our own back yard.

James Ashford

UK Programme Manager

James is with StreetInvest on secondment from the Civil Service Fast Stream, where he has previously been posted at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and HM Revenue & Customs.

Before joining the Civil Service, James worked for The Week and The Telegraph, after graduating with a Master’s in Creative Writing from the University of Cambridge. He previously sat on the Board of Shropshire County Council’s Children’s Trust.

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