In November 2023, the Foyer Federation's accreditation panel met to review the progress 17 Foyers have made in the last year. The panel remarked on services' dedication to providing a quality service, innovative approaches to overcoming challenges, and staff resilience to the changing landscape. Services' commitment to empowering young people could be seen through initiatives such as supporting young people to find jobs and learn new skills, involving residents in decision-making, and providing breakfast clubs and food hampers. All 17 Foyers were awarded their accreditation for another year.
Four key themes that emerged from November’s panel:
1. Nurturing young people’s potential
Foyers were brimming with opportunities for young people to make progress and grow their skills. Doncaster Foyer (SAHA) were commended for their AQA qualification and Discovery College offerings that provide young people with opportunities to develop their skills and talents. YMCA Crewe were acknowledged for their efforts to improve development, and also lower eviction levels. Manchester Foyer (MSV) made progress in the number of young people accessing further and higher education. Aberdeen Foyer’s active engagement in promoting an Advantaged Thinking culture and language within their organisation continues to bring widespread positive results. With 30 years of existence and a recent recommissioning, Braintree Foyer was recognised for their standing in the local community as a preferred choice for young people and a valuable asset within the local area.
2. Embracing new ideas
Swan House and Dove Cott Foyers (Swan Housing) were recognised by the panel for their integration of the AQA qualification, plus enhanced one-to-one support for young people with new approaches to health and wellbeing. Bridge, Coops, Ravenhead and Verve Foyers (Your Housing Group) were acknowledged for introducing breakfast clubs, food hampers and additional support services for residents. Salford Foyer (Places For People) was commended for its impactful work with young residents who are refugees and have English as a second language.
3. Shared challenges and overcoming obstacles
Foyers showed their resilience and commitment when navigating shared challenges such as preparations for new Ofsted regulations, staffing and capacity issues, managing physical spaces, concerns about the rising cost of living and increased rent charges. Doncaster Foyer recruited three new staff members and secured a contract for the next three years, with the potential for a two-year extension, reflecting their stability and strategic planning. Riverside Foyers (Whitehaven, Eden Rural, and South Lakes) and Torbay Foyer (LiveWest) were applauded for their resolve to confront funding challenges head-on whilst continuing to expand the quality of their services. All four Your Housing Group Foyers continued to uphold high standards across all services, as well as Braintree Foyer, who secured both new funding and continued to involve young people in the Foyer despite challenges. Sovereign Foyer made progress with staff training and strengthened partnerships with external organisations such as Blagrave Trust. Sovereign Housing also merged with Network Homes which will provide opportunities for the Foyer to become strategically even stronger.
4. Involving young people in decision-making
Foyers are empowering young people to have a voice in their services and the decisions that impact their lives. YMCA Crewe, Braintree (SAHA) and Torbay Foyers engaged young people to get involved and take an active role in what was happening within their Foyer, benefiting both residents and staff. Aberdeen and Manchester Foyers continue to develop their Advantaged Thinking approach – fostering a culture of inclusivity and participation by listening to and creating opportunities for residents to contribute their ideas, preferences and feedback.
November 2023 Accreditation Cohort Results
Many thanks and well done to all the Foyers progressing on their For Youth quality development journey. Foyers continue to create lasting, positive change in the lives of their young people while navigating challenges and embracing opportunities for change.
Our Chief Executive, Joel Lewis was extremely pleased with the outcome of the November Panel and said:
“The strength of the Foyer network is so evident in the group of Foyers that were reviewed in November 2023. It is harder than ever to maintain an innovative and holistic Foyer offer in the current climate and this group of Foyers have demonstrated that when you combine brave and tenacious leadership with passionate and committed support staff you can truly deliver a transformational offer to young people who can’t live at home.”
Want to know more? Discover more about the FOR Youth accreditation offer, and the impact of the quality development process on Foyers and the young people they work with.