Friday, 26 April 2013

Transformation - YES!

An important Trustees meeting on Tuesday evening when we discussed a  long term strategic issue and made I think the right decision- an opportunity, not a threat. Trustees also discussed the business plan for the year. The principal concern was about the amount of work we have to do in the office,  and for our  health, which was very kind and supportive of Trustees . We have already moved on recruiting a new member of staff to help us, as we have been commissioned by Surrey CC to administer their small grants scheme. We are also delighted to be welcoming two new trustees soon- at the next meeting – from Surrey Minority Ethnic Forum and  a student representative from Guildford FE College.

The Local Prevention Framework (£2.5 mill grants from Surrey CC) has generated a lot of work all round the place for bidders, and us in advising them – I had a call from Manchester yesterday about it! Now is not the time to do the “post-match analysis”, but I do have strong views about it, which could be summarised in this quote from an experienced manager (NOT in the Consortium): “It is a shame that the SCC approach forces us into a competitive position and doesn’t anticipate that “open” agreements between providers could secure a better delivery approach and outcome”. Closing date for bids is next Friday at 3.00pm – good luck!

Met with the manager of Metro Bank in Guildford yesterday, being the new, and very trendy but “old – fashioned” bank that is starting up in London and the SE only, and trying to break the Big 4 monopoly. I was talking to him about what we do and the possibilities for sponsorship/collaboration. They do have a great feature that my 4 year old grandson would love….a  video screen money box into which you drop your piggy bank coins, and the machine counts them up and you get a ticket and interest back. How good is that! If you talk to Metro nicely they’ll let you use it to count coins automatically from collecting tins.

The high point of the week was going to the House of Commons to attend the awards given by various MP and Peer Patrons of the Youth Engagement Service (YES) who do fantastic work in transforming the lives of the most challenging young people. YES does so using ex- prisoners who have seen it all /done it all, and transformed themselves, and so are an inspiration to young people who have gone off the rails. My big conclusion was that it doesn’t take much to keep young  people on track – it’s called parental/family love, but if it’s absent there are massive pressures propelling young people the wrong way. So well done to YES!

Preaching on Sunday…about Learning….Education….E Duco…Ex Duco …Latin “…to lead out question” as in Socrates encouraging students to ask questions……….


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