[Illustration by Ada Jušić – www.adajusic.com]

WORKING TOGETHER ACROSS OUR COMMUNITY TO BEST SUPPORT OUR YOUNG PEOPLE  

19/02/2021 – An important focus of the Pan-Newham Partnership over the last year has been on building strong relationships between different organisations in Newham, writes Pan-Newham Programme Manager Rachel Henry.  We know that trust between individuals is key for any kind of collaboration – as author Stephen Covey writes: “Change happens at the speed of trust.”

As a result of working closer together, several Pan-Newham Partnership organisations have collaborated on funding bids over the year. In October 2020, Newham Council put out a tender for four new youth zones to be developed across the borough, one of the areas being Silvertown and North Woolwich.

West Silvertown Foundation, Royal Docks Learning and Activity Centre and Fight for Peace partnered up and were successful in a bid to deliver activities for 9-19 year olds in the area.  The North Woolwich and Silvertown community feels like several small, fragmented communities so we will deliver in seven locations spread across the area, deliberately chosen to ensure all young people have access to quality youth services on their doorstep. We will also be partnering with Oasis Academy Silvertown and New Directions PRU to ensure we are going to young people, not always expecting them to come to us.

Helen Fernandes, Community Development Manager at West Silvertown Foundation, the lead for this programme said:

“Our previous experience of youth organisation networks had felt territorial and competitive, but the Pan-Newham Partnership has completely changed this culture, by creating a space for youth organisations to be honest, and encouraging opportunities for collaboration – from sharing training to partnering in delivery.

We are so excited about the Royal Docks Youth commissioning as a chance to genuinely partner with other local organisations who are working for the best for young people in our community. This wouldn’t have felt possible a year ago, without the work of the Pan-Newham partnership bringing us all together more effectively.”

We will be working together to get young people involved in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, facilitating youth leadership and social action projects and a host of activities during the week including Afrobeats dance classes, boxing and martial arts, gardening and drama, and tailored groups for young women and young men. Fight for Peace will also recruit their first Youth Psychologist in response to the increasing need for mental health support for our members.

The young people we work with have shown incredible resilience this year and the bonds we have formed in our Pan-Newham Partnership promise a really exciting future. We look forward to being able to meet in person more, develop friendships, have fun, learn together and make sure our community is a great place for young people to grow up.