The July Accreditation panel saw a total of 11 Foyers make progress through the FOR Youth scheme, with one Foyer gaining endorsement, six Foyers moving from endorsement to certification, and four previously certificated Foyers securing recertification.
At the top of the class were six Foyers certificated at the highest level of ‘operationally strong’ and ‘strategically strong’. These were Cork, Manchester, and the four Your Housing Group Foyers in Chester (Bridge), St Helens (Ravenhead), Warrington (Verve) and Wigan (Coops). Each of these Foyers demonstrated strong leadership and positive impacts across the Advantaged Thinking ‘theory of change’ areas.
The Accreditation Panel was able to feast on a range of good practice stories:
- Braintree Foyer has been able to sustain a secure Foyer ethos while adapting to a new commissioning contract requiring it to work with 18-35 year olds. It has introduced AQA-accredited learning units, revitalised its Foyer deal through a new set of videos, made good use of Messenger and Facebook to connect with young people during lockdown, and is completing a project to create a more Advantaged Thinking space for young people.
- Cork Foyer’s ‘Train to Gain’ learning and employability programme continues to make a strong impact, with 50% of young people leaving the Foyer in work. Cork’s resident-led ‘health and social welfare’ group offers a strong model of resident engagement, overseeing the allocation of talent bonds to invest in young people’s positive activities.
- Enfield Foyer embraced the use of digital approaches over the pandemic period including holding virtual house meetings, and embedded an Advantaged Thinking approach across different policy areas from risk assessments to staff titles.
- Salford Foyer strengthened its offer through a new staff rota system that allows young people to benefit from staff support up to 10pm, developed a partnership with the Lowry to support young people’s art activities, and sustained a popular running club contributing to a 39% improved impact in health and wellbeing.
- Sheffield Foyer runs an impressive NCFE accredited ‘move on’ learning offer, supported by staff qualified as teacher trainers through the PTTLS programme. The Foyer has also developed strong practice to work with higher numbers of young people from refugee backgrounds, including the use of conversation clubs and visual resources.
- Manchester Foyer successfully secured a new five-year contract that invests in the Foyer’s ethos with additional funding to provide an extra support post, and continues to evidence impressive outcomes from zero evictions to 90% of young people in education or work on exit.
- Plymouth Foyer has introduced a new, comprehensive asset-based support approach called the Compass, with staff encouraged to offer activity opportunities connected to areas in the Compass model which has helped to boost young people’s outcomes in personal development and social skills.
- The four Your Housing Group Foyers demonstrated a range of best practice. At group level, they benefit from YHG’s impressive ‘Galactic Awards’ to profile achievements across the Foyers, a comprehensive young people service strategy that connects service Quality Development Plans with organisational priorities, and the offer of 25% rental subsidies to support young people into work.
- While only 3% of young people enter Verve in work, 40% are in employment on exit. At Bridge, 82% of young people enter not in education, training or employment, but 83% are in education, training or employment on exit. Ravenhead continues to build on its strong learning offer with 52% of young people taking up a new qualification during their stay. Coops Foyer has a secure five-year contract, and, along with exciting plans for a rebuild in progress, the Foyer was also able to refurbish its current environment to a higher standard.
Panel reports show both the ongoing positive impact of FOR Youth as well as the innovation and resilience of the Foyer approach richly demonstrated across our network. We look forward to reporting back from our October Panel, after which we will be able to produce our annual Foyer benchmarking dataset. By the time we launch the next FOR Youth cohort in October, 85% of the Foyer network will be engaged in the scheme.
If you have yet to take your first step, get in touch for a conversation on how FOR Youth can help your Foyer shine.