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Our youth workers are truly youth champions who provide young people with amazing opportunities every day to support, to challenge, to stretch and to enable young people to become the best they can be and to reach their full potential.

This was never more evident than throughout the pandemic.  Our youth workers continued to support young people through detached youth work, supporting individuals and families, providing online and virtual sessions, providing food packs, welfare visits and lap tops to young people enabling them to carry on with their education whilst at home. In many cases this meant adapting our roles, when we were out and where and how we worked.  Our workers showed flexibility and adaptability, turning their hand to detached work where they may have been a centre based worker or learning to deliver digital and online sessions when social media was something alien to them!

This really helped to shine a light on youth work locally and a newfound appreciation and value for youth work from elected members, managers and partners.

This in essence sums up youth work and youth workers – adaptable, flexible, young people centred, willing to go the extra mile to ensure young people have somewhere to go, are supported, have a trusted adult to turn to and reach their full potential!

Throughout the last year, whilst much of our usual provision was no longer operating due to Covid restrictions we still managed to engage and support young people and achieve the following:

Also, being one of only a few Services that were still able to engage directly face to face with young people, we took it upon ourselves to consult with young people during this period.  Especially, as partners were starting to have conversations about their recovery plans, coming out of lockdown and to future support and provision post the pandemic. We felt it was extremely important that those conversations and plans were informed by the voices of children and young people themselves.  That’s why this report was so important – to everyone working with children, young people and their families.  Hearing about their experiences first hand, what is important to them, their fears and hopes, were crucial to take into account in recovery planning.

Sandwell’s Youth Service also works in partnership with SHAPE, Sandwell’s Child’s Voice Initiative.

The SHAPE Programme is designed to listen to children and young people in Sandwell. 

The SHAPE Programme organises events and opportunities throughout the year for children and young people to engage in positive activities. Within this, the SHAPE Youth Forum, which is the true voice of youth representatives throughout Sandwell, come together to:

  • Be representatives of the voice of young people in Sandwell
  • Plan, develop and organise the activities and events of the SHAPE Programme
  • Support the Young Police Crime Commissioners in their role
  • Support the UK Youth Parliament Members and Deputy members and attend British Youth Council conventions
  • Be a group for council officers, members and officers from partner organisations to consult with
  • Be a link between SHAPE and your school/college

The SHAPE Programme is governed by the SHAPE Strategic Board, which is made up of many partners including the Police, Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS and the Community and Voluntary Sector. The Board report to the Health and Wellbeing Board and the Strategic Commissioning Partnership for children, young people and families.

The governance structure below show all the key organisations and partnerships the SHAPE Programme is linked to.

The SHAPE Programme uses a collaborative approach to engaging with children and young people through events and initiatives. Below are some of the stakeholders and partners we have worked with…

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