Friday, 7 January 2011


Blog 1/2011                                    

Hi everyone,

Best wishes for the New Year…which will be a challenge.

I am tempted to say that the key to success will be sleep, for I know that a lot of people are already, and will be, working very hard during this year to sustain their services as “the age of austerity” falls upon us.

The County Council’s reorganization of its Youth Development Service was approved by its Cabinet on 21 December, and now moves to an implementation stage, where the devil will be in the detail. We are losing funding from Surrey County Council for Surrey Youth News in 2011/12, as part of their cuts package, but we will definitely be continuing with Surrey youth News regardless, by finding other sponsors, or at the least by producing SYN in electronic form.

In Surrey Youth Focus we are already doing a lot to address the core issue of funding and to refashion ourselves. The new Business Plan will go to Trustees on 8 February unveiling that strategy. This will include being far more explicit about the support services we offer to members.

I am delighted that two staff from Surrey County Council (Saba Hussein and Ben Skipp) are being seconded to us to work part time on several projects, but principally on the development of social impact bond projects (see website)  from our members, and then assessing the implications for Surrey CC.

I keep saying that the only way that services to young people will be maintained will be through innovation and collaboration, so this secondment initiative is very welcome.

We have a Faiths in Action event on 23 February for young people and adults(see website), and  I met with the Chief Executive of the London based  Desmond Tutu Foundation  who do great reconciliation work with young people – for example with young people in gangs. They will hopefully become members of ours as they extend services into Surrey .

Personal disclosure: Had a Boxing Day visit to a very cold Wembley Stadium on Boxing Day, despite the tube strike,  to watch a rugby match with one of my sons –my team (Wasps) lost!

Trivial pursuit: Has to be about the glory of winning the Ashes in Australia …..what records did the England Team break on this tour?

Enjoy the weekend!

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