Thursday, 20 October 2011


Lots of meetings this week – an informal meeting of Chairs of voluntary organisations on Monday evening, and then Tuesday evening was our own Trustees meeting.

The Transforming Local Infrastructure bid has progressed well - thanks to Peter Arnold of Surrey Community Action (SCA), and I had a brief slot about it at the SCA AGM on Tuesday morning about the TLI. The challenge is for support service organizations (cross-county, borough specific and specialist, like Surrey Youth Focus) to work out how to deliver an effective service whilst reducing back office costs. There are some innovative proposals including collaboration and mergers (not us).

On Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning I was co–interviewing for posts at RAISE (Regional Action and Involvement South–East ), which is repositioning itself to operate more like a consultancy and brokerage service.

However, my main focus has been on preparations for Friday lunch-time's open public debate in Guildford about “Young  People and Society”, for which we have commissioned the Community Film Unit, a social enterprise comprising former Surrey CC Future Jobs Fund trainees, to make a short film about the life experiences of some young people who had become marginalized.

The film is very powerful in conveying the depth of difficulty that some young people experience…including the young man who was kicked out of his family when aged 14.  I link this to an article in Children and Young people Now about a young woman who was also homeless aged 14 and after years on streets, sofa surfing and in temporary accommodation has at last found a bed at Woking YMCA's new hostel for homeless young people. Youth homelessness in Surrey is a gap in the Surrey Joint Strategic Needs Analysis (JSNA) with health, and I am now just beginning to work on our Research Report that will cover this and doing so with the PCT.

It is stunning what incredibly tough lives some young people have, and who are, I fear growing in number.

Report on the debate next week.


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