Youth Focus North East hold the function as are the North East’s Regional Youth Work Unit, providing infrastructure support and leading on youth voice activities across the region. They have been funded by the National Lottery Community Fund to establish in partnership with another regional youth organisation, NE Youth, the North East Youth Alliance (NEYA).
NEYA’s aim is to create a culture shift in the youth sector in the North East, boost collaboration, strengthen young people’s voice and support sustainability.
The overall outcomes for the NEYA are:
- Improved capacity, collaboration and co-ordination in the youth sector leading to improved youth provision in the region.
- Increased influence of young people’s voices in shaping of services.
- Increased sustainability of services and support for and with young people.
An integral element of achieving our outcomes is the formation and facilitation of the Funders & Youth Sector Collaboration Group.
The Group was formed following a successful discussion between youth sector organisations and members of the North East & Cumbria Funders Network, on workforce retention and recruitment, in May 2022. The purpose of the Funders & Youth Sector Collaboration Group is to explore opportunities for better collaboration, partnership and joined up work to enable a more strategic and purposeful approach to the support and development of youth sector organisations; so they are better able to serve their beneficiaries and have greater impact.
Initial feedback from the group has included:
- Short-term funding is also unsettling for people due to lack of job security.
- Organisations need to work together and collaborate more so applications aren’t duplicated.
- Organisations can become more sustainable by being enterprising but this can be challenging when their target audience doesn’t have the money for things.
- Being able to evidence impact.
- Smaller and medium sized funders don’t have as much money as they used to.
- The sector as a whole is unrecognised and unsupported so we need to get better at telling people what we do.
- More capacity is needed for staff development and training.
For more information and to sign up to the NEYA please see https://neya.org.uk/