07 May 2015
7 May 2015
Yesterday London Youth together with the City Bridge Trust, Children in Need and John Lyon’s Charity, hosted ‘Together: Inclusion in Youth Work’. The focus of the event was how youth clubs and funders could work with each other to offer young people with disabilities access to high quality opportunities; and how young people themselves could shape and lead those opportunities.
The event brought together over 200 young people, youth workers and volunteers from a variety of youth organisations to share best practice and involved a mixture of inspirational talks from the Lord Mayor of London, City Bridge Trust and Paralympian Ade Adepitan, as well as workshops.
The Lord Mayor launched the event, powerfully arguing that young disabled people deserve to have their voices heard. This message was strongly reinforced by the young speakers involved. Zak Osman (a member of our Dare London youth board and our trustee board) gave a touching account of his experiences at his youth club Wac Arts, an arts and media youth organisation working in Camden and across greater London. By taking part in opportunities to participate in creative youth projects with Wac, Zak has developed his confidence. He concluded by praising youth workers for helping young people of all abilities to be the best they can be, and encouraged all organisations to ensure they support young people of all abilities in the future.
The event aimed to inspire and inform practitioners to continue developing inclusion in all areas of their work. To support them with this the event’s workshops offered a practical opportunity to share best practice and learn some beneficial techniques of monitoring their success. Dimitrios Tourountsis (our Head of Learning) led a workshop on how the sector can evaluate outcomes of youth work for young people with disabilities. He emphasised the importance of a logical framework when assessing the impact of youth work and gave participants the opportunity to assess how this could relate to their own work.
Rosa Palli, our Membership Development Officer, commented:
“As an Inclusion Champion at London Youth it has been great to see the diversity of people attending this event, with a wide range of youth organisations with different areas of expertise coming together to engage in discussions about inclusion. London Youth are proud to support inclusion in all of our work, and it is vital that we share and collaborate to allow young people with disabilities to fully participate in all the benefits that youth work has to offer.”
Ciaran Rafferty, Principal Grants Officer at the City Bridge Trust said:
“Inclusion is one of the City Bridge Trust’s core values and it has been fantastic to play such a key role in organising an event which champions supporting disabled young people. By showcasing organisations which deliver high quality inclusive youth work and can demonstrate what is possible, we shared best practice amongst a number of local youth organisations throughout London. The overriding feeling of the event was that we need more like it, as it is only by working together, sharing ideas and coming up with solutions, that we can unite to remove barriers and create opportunities for disabled young people.”
Chas Mollet, Inclusive Technician at Wac Arts, gave a talk in the ‘Fun and Friendship’ workshop at the event and commented:
“The event was a great opportunity to share best practice with fellow youth workers and the connections we made will ultimately benefit the young people on our Wac Arts Interactive project.”
Young people with disabilities often face more barriers than non-disabled young people as they seek to develop the confidence, character and skills to become successful adults. To ensure the good work of 'Together: Inclusion in Youth Work' progresses beyond just the day's event, London Youth will continue working with members, funders and our own staff team to maximise what young people with disabilities can experience through youth organisations, and that they are able to achieve the same outcomes as their peers.