The presidential appeal charity update
CIH president, Robin Lawler, has already raised more than £16,000 for the Foyer Federation this year and Joel Attar, development and delivery officer, for the young people’s charity tells us about their work in a guest blog.The Foyer Federation has been running a campaign called Open Talent and has set-up its Advantaged Thinking programme to find the places, people, opportunities, deals and campaigns that harness the talents of all young people.
We are interested in how we, as a sector, choose to invest our time, efforts and resources. Spend your time talking about needs and identifying risks, and this will be where you direct your attention and resources. There is a much more positive way to invest.
With Open Talent we are creating a positive culture of identifying, developing and promoting talents in young people. All too often, these same young people are spoken to, or spoken about, in terms of their needs and the risks they pose. Open Talent is a different kind of conversation, one that talks about their aspirations and the assets they have.
Halfway into our three-year strategy we are seeing a transformation taking place, as Foyers move away from deficit-based models, choosing instead to invest in talents, which is truly exciting.
We have brokered a number of talent-building projects for Foyer residents this year and are adding to an ever-growing list of advantaged thinking employers who view the Foyer network as a new pool of talent.
Another project saw the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), through its Charitable Trust, team up with the Foyer Federation to support a pilot ‘Working Assets’ programme aimed at encouraging young people to join the automotive industry. Three Foyer services were matched with employers Unipart, Ford and Toyota for a Working Assets programme that identifies and builds young people’s skills to enable them to be employable, and ultimately independent, adults.
Over at the British Library you’ve still time to check out an innovative exhibition entitled ‘Writing London’. The Library launched a youth programme recently exploring London through the eyes of Foyer residents using creative writing and photography and for the first time in their history they are displaying contemporary photography across three floors.
As well as our work with employers, there’s been great news from our network, currently at 120 member Foyers. Our Investors Group of Housing Associations is now 12 strong and includes our first non-Foyer parent organisation. Our work with investors covers leadership and workforce development, quality assurance, roundtables on learning and funding plus a range of test-bed initiatives.
It was great earlier this year when the UK Housing Awards acknowledged our members too, with recognition for: Kemble Housing Supported Housing Young People’s Project (Winner: Specialist Housing Provider of the Year), Step-by-Step Partnership (Finalist: Specialist Housing Provider of the Year), Chichester Foyer’s Working Assets project (Finalist: Innovation of the Year). Clearly it pays to be an advantaged thinker.
Join in the #OpenTalent conversation and follow us on Twitter @FoyerFederation
Make a donation to our presidential appeal or see the Foyer Federation JustGiving page to see all the fundraisers