As today is National Safeguarding Day it is the ideal time to launch our new youth blog. Young people are the supporters, volunteers and visitors of the future but they represent a relatively new audience for us.
We know that the waterways hold huge potential to engage young people from all walks of life in a whole range of ways. In recent years we have delivered projects focusing on everything from environmental improvements to water-sports, heritage, music, drama and new media.
At the Trust we recognise that safeguarding is the cornerstone of good youth engagement. Since becoming a charitable Trust in 2012, we have been working hard behind the scenes to make sure we have the systems in place to engage young people safely and effectively, and the training and guidance in place to make sure staff feel they have the skills and confidence to support them.
For the past 3 years, we have signed up to the National Council for Voluntary Youth Service’s (NCVYS) Stop, Look & Listen! Campaign joining hundreds of other organisations to show our commitment to safeguarding.
2015 was a busy year for Safeguarding at the Trust with the launch of our new ‘Safeguarding Children, Young People & Adults at Risk’ policy and guidance; the creation of the Trust’s Safeguarding Steering Group and the development of a training package for staff and volunteers across the organisation.
This year we are pledging to roll out our Safeguarding training to staff and volunteers to help them to develop their skills and confidence in engaging young people. We have worked with NCVYS and elearning design company, Dynamic to create a blended training programme including elearning modules for all and a one day workshop for those working with young people in their day to day role.
To date over 60 staff have attended the workshop and feedback has been very positive!
“The course made me think about how I interact with young people. Delivery of the course was excellent.”
Now that we are becoming ‘youth fit’ and interest and demand from partners, young people and colleagues continues to grow, it’s full steam ahead for this exciting area of work. This year we have a number of plans in the pipeline, not least of all the development of the very first Youth Engagement Strategy for the Trust. More to come on that in one of our future blogs!
For more information on our current youth projects and progress, please see our youth social action pages.
The youth engagement team supports colleagues across the Trust to engage more young people in their work. We provide guidance to local teams and work together to deliver a range of projects to meet the needs, interests and aspirations of young people and the strategic priorities of the waterway. We endeavour to raise the Trust’s profile and reputation within the youth sector and work with a number of national partners to offer a wide range of activities for young people.See more blogs from this author