In September's Great Gathering events we took a deep dive into youth involvement, exploring the ways that Foyers can create a welcoming and inclusive environment for young people. Specifically we unpacked methods for effective listening and leadership practices.
We had a great turn out at each event, with 29 staff members from 18 member services. Huge shout out to guest speaker Antonia Dixey, CEO of Participation People, and superstar young co-hosts Jeremy and Maisie for joining us. Your insights and experience at both events were invaluable and inspirational!
"Really amazing event, so glad we came, thought Antonia from Participation People was amazing! Thank you!” Great Gathering participant
Great Gathering, North, Sheffield
The days were filled with reflective discussions from members of our network, and it's fair to say we learned a lot! Here are the stand-out learnings around how to overcome barriers for embedding listening and leadership:
1. Create a welcoming and inclusive environment by promoting cultural awareness among staff to help young people from different backgrounds feel understood and valued. Encourage open, respectful communication with language support where needed to ensure everyone can join in discussions.
2. Reimagine the physical space by involving young people in the design and making your location a more inviting place to foster engagement, empowerment and connection.
3. Encourage young people to take an active role in fundraising by organising sessions to talk about innovative ideas, explore partnerships with local businesses or organisations, and involve young people in fund raising activities.
4. Review and streamline administrative processes by prioritising tasks that directly impact youth well-being and engagement. Consider digital solutions to simplify documentation and record-keeping, finding effective ways to reduce the administrative burdens – freeing up more time for meaningful interactions.
5. Foster a culture of motivation by recognising and celebrating achievements, no matter how small, encouraging positive action and a growth mindset, and offering support during periods of low motivation.
“Thanks for the day it was good to network and share good practice and feel the positivity in the room and passion for the work we all do.” Great Gatherings participant