Action for Change Project Hub

What is Action For Change?

Action for Change aims to remove the barriers to partnership working and collaboration between children and young people’s services across Harrow. Action for Change is a 6 month project led by the Young Harrow Foundation and Harrow Council, in collaboration with the wider VCSE sector, Police, Harrow CCG and Safer Harrow Partnership. The project will be facilitated by The Centre For Youth Impact.

Action for Change will build on the 5 Needs Areas identified in the This Is Harrow 2018 Report - Mental Health, Youth Violence, Employability, Inequalities and Physical Activity. In each area, we will consider the overall ecosystem and support structures that exist in Harrow for children and young people and how these can be improved.

This strategy will be designed by local experts, informed by the needs of young people, and delivered in a way we can measure and track to prove impact.

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Latest Update: First Analysis of the Workshops and next steps

Young Harrow Foundation, together with the Centre for Youth Impact, are working to develop a collective impact strategy to address the priority areas of need that were highlighted in the This is Harrow needs analysis. The first step in this process is to gain understand the challenges and barriers that young people and practitioners face when working in these areas.

In November and December 2019, Young Harrow Foundation and the Centre for Youth Impact hosted a series of World Café workshops with Young Harrow Foundation members. The purpose of this was to deeply explore the five priorities highlighted in the This is Harrow needs assessment:

· Mental Health

· (Un)employment

· Inequality

· Physical Activity

· Youth Violence

For each priority area, the questions under discussion at the workshops were:

· What are the causes and drivers affecting young people related to the priority area under discussion?

· From a young person’s perspective, what are the barriers to engagement with services?

· From a practitioner’s perspective, what are the barriers to working together in collaboration?

· Where are there gaps in the services?

It is intended that the feedback from these discussions will form the basis of a theory of change for us, Young Harrow Foundation and its members, to collectively address the five priority areas of need in the borough. We understand that there will be things that cannot be meaningfully affected and therefore will provide the context and backdrop of Young Harrow’s Foundation’s work; there will be things that can and should be changed with collective effort; and there will be ‘quick wins’ that can be acted on in the short term. The Centre for Youth Impact will be working with us throughout to support the development of our theory of change as well as an evaluation framework to sit alongside it.

The Centre for Youth Impact has carried out a thematic and frequency analysis of feedback for each for each question. We are, however, mindful that the dataset is small and therefore this analysis should not be treated at exhaustive or definitive. We also invite members to share evidence that would support or challenge the findings from the World Café discussions. We have therefore worked with the Centre to use the analysis to design this survey to establish with more clarity the key priorities for action. In particular, we are seeking more feedback around the specific causes and drivers affecting young people as these are the things that we want this work to have an impact upon.

Please take the time to complete this survey – we are keen to hear your views and the survey itself should not take more than 10-15 minutes to complete.

What next?

We need more help to complete the analysis phase. Please take the survey below and share it with your colleagues to make sure we've heard the right voices across Harrow

Phase 2?

We want to start working on solutions to some of these problems in March - look out for a save the date!

What are we trying to do?

Understand The Causes and Barriers
Develop The Answers
Measure Our Impact

Phase I - Understanding The Causes

We need to understand the gaps in local systems that can contribute to children and young people being unable to access the services they need.That means getting under skin of the structural problems they face and the barriers that stop them from living happier, healthier and safer lives. We need to look for the threads that connect the 5 Needs Areas, and begin thinking about making changes 'upstream' to treat the causes, not just the symptoms.

This phase will look at the practical realities of the service ecosystem in Harrow. This might involve discussions about referrals between services, developing joint strategies, finding out about funding opportunities, integrating with education and healthcare services, and responding to emerging needs with limited budgets.

Phase II - Developing the Answers

In the second round of workshops, we will being tackling the problems identified in Phase I. We will look at the resources, skills and expertise we have in the borough across our communities, charities and public sector service providers. We will identify the day to day, operational and strategic changes we need to make, and prioritise a set of outcomes and targets we believe can improve the delivery of services for children and young people and have an impact on the lives of those growing up in Harrow.

Phase III - Measuring our Impact

To make this plan sustainable, we need to identify the impact working together (and better!) has on the lives of young people in Harrow.

In this final phase, The Centre For Youth Impact will help us agree a framework for measuring change in the borough, including a set of shared outcomes, targets and indicators that work across sectors and organisations.

Watch Chris @ YHF explain the Action For Change project