Friday, 28 October 2011


Last Friday’s "Young people and society" debate in Guildford went pretty well, with some 65 people attending and a high quality debate, informed by the contribution of the panel including the president of Guildford (FE) College student union who was insistent on the need to re-define a values based approach tp young people – a “moral consensus” that she felt had gone missing currently. The second public meeting is on Friday 25 November at the NESCOT (FE college) in Epsom.

This week saw the announcement of a new Surrey Scouts Commissioner, Roxanna Bostock from Spelthorne in succession to Richard Shortman, and we wish Roxanna well in her new role.

The Surrey Transforming Local Infrastructure bid was submitted yesterday. There are four key features: encouraging mergers/ collaboration of district/borough CVS, setting up a social enterprise to deal with CSR across the county, developing common performance measures, and, importantly commissioning the development of a tool kit for frontline organizations to measure impact. Surrey Youth Focus is not benefiting from any of the funding.

BUT I have had very positive meetings this week with Big Lottery SE, and with the Community Foundation, Surrey , and am hopeful that these will lead to a successful Lottery bid around innovation and replication. The Community Foundation are beginning to do research, as am I and the PCT about youth homelessness.

This links to a trip to Milton Keynes yesterday for a Social Enterprise South East invitation only event at which Nick Hurd (Minister for Civil Society) and Nick O’Donoghue (CEO Big Society Capital)  were the key speakers. There was a constant theme about social enterprise, social finance and social impact bonds, and the need for the sector to be able to quantify impact and savings. There were many examples of all of these, including Big Society Capital funding a financial intermediary (£2mill) so that it in turn could fund a social enterprise (Tomorrow’s People) working with 600 NEET young people at risk of being offenders in east London. 

It was very clear to me that whilst these new financial and organizational models will NOT suit all voluntary sector organizations, there is and will be a big push in this direction.

Weekend writing MA Theology dissertation which I am sure you will all want to know about later….much later!

Best wishes,

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