For some years now NYA has supported the Children and Young People Now Youth Work Award. We believe that recognising good youth work is important. It helps to communicate the impact on young people and shine a light on good practice and the skills of talented youth workers.
To celebrate the Youth Work Award, we’ve invited previous winners to write blogs on the impact it has had on their organisation.
Redthread is a youth work charity supporting young people aged 11 to 25 to navigate the challenging transition into adulthood. It seeks to support young people facing multiple challenges related to violence, lifestyle, gangs and exploitation, mental health and wellbeing.
John Poyton, Redthread's CEO, writes;
“We were delighted to have won the Children and Young People Now’s Charity Award and Youth Work Award – it was a huge honour to be recognised for our work with young people. In 2013 when we won the award, our team was much smaller. We were delivering our Youth Violence Intervention Programme at King’s College Hospital and were in the early stages of running The Well Centre in Streatham.
“Over the past few years, charities have been operating in a challenging financial climate and it has been increasingly hard for small organisations to secure funding. Winning awards such as these has been invaluable as we were able to use the awards to showcase our work when meeting funders.
“Since winning the award, our team has grown to over 30 staff and we now operate in all four of London’s Major Trauma Centres, have grown our team at The Well Centre and partner with two other charities in delivering the London Gang Exit service.” Read more.
Alistair Dale, CEO, describes 2015 winner Youth Moves as “a traditional youth work charity aiming to deliver high quality youth work in a world that doesn’t really recognise or value the full impact youth work can make!”
The organisation is thriving but it’s not been easy. “Funding streams dried up, and seeing other youth work organisations going out of business, it was hard to remain motivated and focussed. So winning the CYP Now NYA sponsored Youth Work Award for 2015 was an amazing, unexpected boost to us all. It gave us confidence in the work we deliver, it rewarded the staff for all their efforts and it acted as a ‘kitemark’ to funders and partners that we were a well-recognised quality organisation.
"It is hard to quantify exactly what winning this award meant for us, but I feel sure it has helped to raise our profile, and more importantly the impact great youth work can make to the lives of young people. In turn this has meant we have had more open doors in schools who now want to work with us, more funders who know they are making a positive investment, and more partners who want to work with us. This therefore means we can get on with our mission to deliver outstanding youth work in South Bristol and as our slogan says Youth Moves – starting journeys, inspiring lives.”
The winner of this year's Youth Work Award will be announced at the Children and Young People Now Awards ceremony on 22 November.