Interesting week in which I sense that social finance is fast becoming mainstream. On Monday I met with two large Surrey charities to assist in developing a potential social finance project on a large scale, but which will take time to be developed.
I went to the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services annual conference and AGM in London on Tuesday. The theme was “A citizen society?” Keynote speech by the excellent Tim Loughton, Minister for Children and Young people…..and he really knows his stuff. He was also emphatic that the riots were not “caused by young people” (only a quarter of those prosecuted were youths), and asked us to reflect on the geography of the events, so for example nothing happened in (deprived) Sheffield. Why not? Point being that it is too simplistic to say that the events happened in deprived areas. He also mentioned social finance/impact bonds about five times. Other highlights were: Rockcorps – encouraging the habit of volunteering by exchanging tickets for top rock concerts in return for a minimum of 4 hours volunteering, and similarly a new app “DosomeGood” to encourage volunteering. Excellent conference.
(Since then the Government has published The August riots: understanding the involvement of young people.)
Most impressive of all for me was Shaun Bailey, youth worker and Parliamentary candidate who emphasized the importance of young people taking responsibility for their lives, the need for boundaries and the great value of families, and communities as THE effective support mechanism for young people. But also a warning against hypocrisy..banks, FTSE 100 Directors pay increases, older generation ensuring its pensions whilst younger people pay for them through decades of taxes. (Ouch, bit close to home!) He is now a Big Society Ambassador.
As one of the panelists at our public debate said at our Guildford "Young people and society" event, “we need a new moral consensus”…Our next public debate about "Young People and Society" is on Friday 25 Nov. at NESCOT FE College, Epsom, at 1.00pm. Just turn up.
I note that the unemployment of young people under 25 in Surrey is still upwards, up to 3,410 JSA claimants in September.
I was interviewed yesterday as a potential trustee for a big charity for the homeless in Chichester, West Sussex, so it will be interesting to see if I have passed! A bit more volunteering from me.
And today’s trivia….Guy Fawkes worked as a steward at Midhurst Castle for some two years before the 5 Nov. Gunpowder Plot….”not a lot of people know that”..but you now do!
Keep learning and enjoy the fireworks!