ADD402 Uniformed youth groups and YOU London

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD402
Date signed: 
18 March 2016
Decision by: 
Amanda Coyle, Assistant Director, Health and Communities

Executive summary

Approval is sought for expenditure of £20,000 to continue ‘You London’s’ pan-London support for uniform groups. The grant funding will deliver further collaborative work between the uniform groups to achieve enhanced borough based working and co-ordination, and pan-London co-ordination and targeted recruitment of adult volunteers. This builds on the YOU Matter programme that completed in March 2014 and the grant of £47,000 in 2014-15. The funding will be used to continue pan-London and borough co-ordination across the uniform groups comprising: Air Training Corps, Army Cadets, Boys’ Brigade London, Girls’ Brigade, Girlguiding LaSER, St John Ambulance, Sea Cadets, Volunteer Police Cadets and Community Fire Cadets.

Decision

That the Assistant Director approved expenditure of up to £20,000 to grant fund the work of the YOU London board to continue pan-London and borough co-ordination across uniform groups and target recruitment of adult volunteers. The funds will be administered and held by the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association for Greater London which is the supporting organisation for the YOU London Board. 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    The Mayor has approved previous funding (MD454, MD669, MD881and ADD257) to support uniform groups to deliver a co-ordinated programme of expansion across London. 

1.2    YOU Matter emerged from the ‘Time for Action’ initiative which focussed on youth engagement and discussed the importance of structured activities for young people. 

1.3    YOU Matter sought to increase the operational capacity of uniformed youth groups, building on the GLA’s parallel support from strategic collaboration facilitated through the YOU London Board. 

1.4    This programme has been successfully completed in March 2014 and the final outputs achieved were:

•    103 new units set up across London including 51 in 12 target boroughs (target boroughs identified as high numbers of young people not in education, training or employment).
•    2,455 new adult volunteers recruited , trained and actively volunteering
•    18,418 additional young people recruited into uniform groups
•    9,716 young people, by the end of the programme, remaining involved with the uniform group for 12 months  

1.5    This substantially exceeded the targets set for the programme.

1.6    The programme was overseen by the YOU London board which brings together the uniform groups to provide pan-London co-ordination, collaboration on funding and shared use of resources. 

1.7    The programme has been evaluated (DD1041) by Ecorys. The evaluation identified that as well as achieving the outputs, the programme has also substantially strengthened joint work between the groups to share resources and exchange best practice.  New joint working was undertaken across the uniform groups which had not previously been the case. 

1.8    Further joint working was supported (ADD 257) with a grant of £47,000 to continue You London’s pan-London support for uniform groups. The continuation of this co-ordination activity is being undertaken to embed the collaborative activity between the uniform groups and continue operational links between the groups. 

1.9    Two monitoring reports have been received on the current grant expenditure. The resources have been used to support central co-ordination, support for collaboration at borough level and publicity material and small grants to enable collaborative activities. The grant expenditure has been utilised over a longer period than originally envisaged and has been disbursed by December 2015. Over the last 18 months the YOU London have achieved:
•    Web site re-design complete and went live in November 2015. Initial feedback very positive.
•    Network meetings across the uniform groups development workers held every 6 months and rotated around the organisations; so far at GL RFCA, Fire Cadets and Sea Cadets with next at VPC.
•    Maintained liaison with the 12 Boroughs who have active engagement with YOU, the Development Worker has established links with 7 additional targeted Boroughs.
•    Development Worker support for adult volunteer recruitment events.

1.10     The proposal for funding has been developed in conjunction with the YOU London Board and Reserve Forces and Cadets Association for Greater London will be the lead body and receive the GLA grant.

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    The YOU London Board was established in 2008 to increase cooperation, share knowledge and intelligence at both pan-London and local borough level with the aim of increasing effectiveness in sharing resources and cooperation. The YOU Matter programme was delivered in conjunction with the YOU London Board.

2.2    Following a 2014 review, the YOU London Board then agreed the objectives for continued pan-London co-ordination by the YOU London Board and identified the associated administration support. The objectives form the basis for this grant funding to YOU London.

2.3    The YOU London Board have successfully delivered on the objectives of (i) communications (ii) support to borough co-ordination (ii) increased joint events. The current grant will cover the period from January 2016 to September 2016. It is intended that the following outcomes will be achieved by September 2016:

•    Increase recruiting and retaining suitable adult volunteers without which the youth experience cannot be delivered.  It is not cost effective for a blanket recruiting campaign as the shortfall may be skill, gender or geographic specific.  Before any recruiting campaign a better understanding of the requirement is needed.  The Development Worker will conduct a baseline study of the adult volunteers across the 10 organisations of YOU London in order to identify the specific requirements.  Completed by June 2016

•    Continue the positive impact and growth of activity undertaken collectively by the uniformed youth organisations of YOU London.  This will require continued involvement of the Development Worker and availability of resources to support Borough and pan-London joint activity. 

2.4    The budget is set out below:

Item

£

Development worker

7,000

Secretariat support including website, enewsletter *

In-kind

Marketing materials for YOU London

5,000

YOU London collaborative activity between groups (opportunities for the group to undertake shared activities with young people)

5,000

YOU London high profile events and Uniform group development workers (across all the uniform groups) training and sharing of best practice

3,000

Total

£20,000

 *GL RFCA will continue to provide the YOU London administrative function. 

2.5    The funding from the GLA will establish the pan-London co-ordination capacity for the YOU London Board and demonstrate the additionally and in-kind benefits which this approach can bring to the uniform groups. The groups individually and collectively through the YOU London Board will continue to engage with the national YOU programme (which operates across uniform groups) and access additional funding through this route. 

2.6    The YOU London Board will seek to raise additional funding to support collaborative activity going forward to support pan-London and borough focused activity in the second half of 2016-17 and in future years. 

 

 

Equality comments

3.1    The uniform youth groups provide structured activities for young people across London including some units which are located in special schools for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities. Uniform youth groups will provide units where there is demand. Uniform groups are now pro-actively identifying areas where there is potential for expansion and then developed approaches to achieve the necessary adult volunteers. Between the uniform groups they have engaged across all areas of London and worked with different communities. 

3.2    The evaluation of the YOU Matter programme noted that:
The benefits to young people
•    Benefits of uniformed youth groups for the young people surveyed included increasing their confidence, skills, respect for others and interaction with other people. Improvements in self-confidence were particularly apparent for young people from the target boroughs.
•    Of the young people surveyed those who were economically disadvantaged tended to have made greater improvements in their level of social interaction. 
Data and evidence of impact 
•    The uniform youth groups all operate as separate groups and have different procedures processes for collecting data about the young people taking part in the groups. The YOU Matter programme required groups to provide data and young people and adult volunteers and this has, over the period of the programme, brought about some changes in how the groups have shared good practice and raised standards.  The projects are now better placed to understand who they have as adult volunteers and young people using the services. 
•    One objective of the additional funding is to enable the uniform group development workers to continue to review and share good proactive in relation to data collection, evaluation and developing a clear understanding of outcomes for their programmes. 

Other considerations

a)    Key risks and issues.

4.1    The Key risks and issues are illustrated in the following table;

Risk 

Impact

Likelihood

Mitigation

YOU London does not engage and show added value at borough level as well as at the pan-London level.

3

2

Work over the last year has raised the profile of YOU London and provided added value to local groups. The proposed work plan will engage with further boroughs in 2016. Networking and termly meetings have been established with the project workers bringing them together across all of the uniform groups.

YOU London does not raise additional funding in 2016-17 for continuation of co-ordination activity.

4

1

YOU London are able to access  a variety of funding sources. The GLA funding has enabled the uniform groups to continue to collaborate and demonstrate types of activity and added value.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(scale: 5 high, 1 low)

b)     Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities 

4.2    The Mayor’s Education and Youth Programme delivery plan refresh identifies: Fostering engagement and building resilience among young people, to progress and develop the GLA’s work to foster engagement and build resilience among London’s young people. 

4.3    In our role as a strategic organisation at the pan-London level, we will also continue to support the wider education and youth sectors locally and regionally and to foster links at the national level. YOU London is the regional body for engagement with uniform groups and through this links to the national programme and Youth United are maintained. 

c)     Impact assessments and consultations

4.4        The YOU Matter programme has been evaluated by Ecory’s and the following summarises the main points:
The benefits to young people
•    Benefits of uniformed youth groups for the young people surveyed included increasing their confidence, skills, respect for others and interaction with other people. Improvements in self-confidence were particularly apparent for young people from the target boroughs.
•    Of the young people surveyed those who were economically disadvantaged tended to have made greater improvements in their level of social interaction. 
The value of adult volunteers
•    Based on the volunteer survey and interviews, adult volunteers found supporting young people to develop their skills most rewarding. Development of new or existing skills for themselves was also important to adult volunteers but tended to come second to the opportunity to help young people to develop.  
•    The social action ethos is embedded in uniformed youth groups and was reflected in the majority of young people surveyed reporting that taking part had helped them to become more involved in their local area. Benefits to local communities were both the practical benefits of young people supporting the local community as well as developing relationships between services and young people. However, further exploration of the extent to which this has longer-term benefits for local communities would be beneficial.
•    There were indications that some young people were keen to stay involved in their uniformed youth group in the longer term. For instance, 37% (135 young people) of young people surveyed would like to be a leader when they are too old to be member of their group; and a further 29% (105 young people) felt they would like to be ‘help out sometimes’ at the group.
The impact of collaborative work between groups
•    Support was provided to uniformed youth groups to better understand and trust each other. YOU Matter also allowed the YOU London Board to develop its strategy and establish priorities for the future. 
•    A benefit common across groups was the opportunity for further encouragement to share practical resources, such as accommodation and transportation, which can support the delivery of activities. The level of resource sharing varied but was viewed as an on-going process that could lead to longer-term benefits.
•    Groups also benefited from joint working, both in terms of learning from each others’ approaches to recruiting adult volunteers as well as developing joint training programme, such as a young people’s mentoring programme.
•    In addition, uniformed youth groups recognised that the development worker role was key to the success of YOU Matter. The evidence of the success of this model led to its implementation in the national Department for Communities and Local Government funded Supporting Inclusion Programme.   
4.5    Consultation on the development of this further support to YOU London has been developed in conjunction with the YOU London Board. During the last six months of the YOU Matter programme the YOU London Board undertook a review process to consider the financial and legal structure that the Board should adopt going forward in order to continue collaboration and apply for funding. This work culminated in the revised YIU London strategy. The strategy identifies that the YOU London Board requires strategic capacity as well as borough engagement and operational co-ordination. 

 

Financial comments

5.1    Approval is being sought for the GLA to award a grant of up to £20,000  to the ‘Reserve Forces & Cadets Association for Greater London’ to support the work of the ‘YOU London Board’. 

5.2    The cost of this project is to be funded from the existing 2015-16 Structured Activities for Young People’s (YOU Matter) budget (MD1607) held in the Education and Youth Team within the Communities & Intelligence Directorate. 

5.3    The YOU London Board will seek to raise additional funding to support collaborative activity going forward to support pan-London and borough focused activity in the second half of 2016-17 and in future years. 

Planned delivery approach and next steps

6.1    The project will be delivered by Reserve Forces and Cadets Association for Greater London (GL RFCA) in conjunction with the uniform groups. The groups involved are the Air Training Corps, Army Cadets, Boys’ Brigade London, Girls’ Brigade, Girlguiding LaSER, St John Ambulance, Sea Cadets, Volunteer Police Cadets, and the Community Fire Cadets. 

6.2    The GL RFCA have appointed a co-ordinator to provide additional support to provide administrative support and deliver communication and media activity. GL RFCA also provide the secretariat function for YOU London meetings and the management of the YOU London website. 

Activity

Timeline

Grant Funding Agreement finalised

February 2016

Development workers networking meeting (and every 6 months)

March 2016

Adult volunteer shortfall and recruitment survey completed

July 2016

Proposals for volunteer recruitment presented to YOU London

September 2016

Delivery End Date

September 2016

Project Closure:

September 2016