Friday, 8 April 2011


We had possibly the best ever Celebration of Youth last Saturday evening at an excellent venue - Jubilee High School, Addlestone which has its own theatre. We had a distinguished audience of guests - the Lord Lieutenant, the High Sheriff(s), the Chairman and the Chief Executive of Surrey CC and 9 out of the eleven “Mayors and Chairs” and we had a good audience of parents and friends supporting some great performances by young people, and with loads of exhibition stands. We printed 200 programmes which were all used up. There are pictures of the event on our website and Facebook.

In different vein, I met up with the Head of Youth Services for West Sussex CC on Monday evening and she explained that her restructuring had resulted in some 87 redundancies…so this is a tough time for youth workers everywhere.

On Tuesday evening, I met with our members from our uniformed organisations; amazingly the Girl Guides in Surrey East have a waiting list of 450 young people to join the Guides- the impediment is the lack of volunteer leaders.

I co-presented with the Head of Surrey Youth Service at an important meeting with those of our member organisations working with young offenders about the possibility of deploying social finance (ie from corporates or social philanthropists), recognising that there is a minus 30% in public expenditure and likely to be ever increasing challenges for young people. I confess to being a keen advocate of social finance, and of what I call a new “triangular model “ or relationships between the public sector – voluntary sector – corporates/social philanthropy. The experts on this are the charity called Social Finance, but I have about 20 papers on the subject which will go up on our website in a week or two. It was a good first meeting and the agreement was to meet a second time once work has taken place outside the meeting.

I am gradually clearing my decks of completed projects so that I can concentrate on the key task, as for everyone else in the VCFS, of getting in income for 2012/13, but meanwhile, I’m taking the afternoon off to enjoy (and work in) the garden!

Enjoy a beautiful week-end!

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