Advantaged Thinking is the asset-based philosophy that’s central to the work we do, and to the Foyer model each of our members upholds. It focuses on young people’s talents rather than their perceived weaknesses, and that envisions a future shaped by skills and strengths rather than risks and needs.

At YMCA Derbyshire, the team have been working on ways to make sure Advantaged Thinking is part of the culture in every element of their work. Here are some of the things they’re been doing to raise awareness of Advantaged Thinking and how it connects to different roles, led by Caroline Heaton, Asset Coach and Senior Monitoring & Evaluation Assistant:

  • Learning about the Seven Tests of Advantaged Thinking and reflecting on how this relates to their own role and experiences. After this, staff receive a personalised copy of their reflections and a certificate to acknowledge their progress on the journey. They are also asked to make an Advantaged Thinking pledge.
  • Different perspectives from the initial training are compiled to inform a group discussion about each of the Seven Tests, using The Foyer Federation Advantaged Thinking Action Pack to stimulate ideas and conversations. Staff report that they find value in the opportunity to share their ideas and learning.
  • Caroline has created two short videos to introduce and outline the concept of Advantaged Thinking using the free tool Biteable.
  • The service plans to continue the monthly discussion group, as well as introducing Advantaged Thinking to residents and explaining how it’s used at YMCA Derbyshire.

We love to see this proactive approach being taken towards Advantaged Thinking and all the benefits it has - both for young people and staff teams. Thank you to YMCA Derbyshire for sharing these best-practice examples of the training, reflection and discussion opportunities!

Embedding a culture of Advantaged Thinking in your staff team takes ongoing effort and sustained practice. At The Foyer Federation, we offer a number of tools and training packages to help you on your journey, including our Being Advantaged Thinking training, our Coaching training, and our Advantaged Thinking Action Pack. Get in touch with [email protected] to hear more.

The Foyer Federation is registered in England and Wales under company number 2699839 at Work.Life, Core Building, 30 Brown Street, Manchester, M2 1DH. The charity is registered under charity number 1040482.
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