National Council for Voluntary Youth Services

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National Council for Voluntary Youth Services
NCYVS logo
Abbreviation NCVYS
Formation 1936
Type Registered charity, company limited by guarantee
Purpose/focus Youth Organisation development, Youth empowerment
Headquarters London
Region served England
Membership approx. 280 member organisations
Main organ Board of Trustees
Website

NCVYS website NCVYS on Twitter

NCVYS on YouTube

The National Council for Voluntary Youth Services (NCVYS) is a membership network of around 280 voluntary and community organisations, as well as local and regional networks, who work with young people and operate in England. NCVYS acts as an independent voice of the voluntary and community youth sector, working to inform and influence public policy, supporting members to improve the quality of their work, and also raising the profile of the voluntary and community sector's work with young people.

History[edit]

NCVYS was founded on the 24 March 1936 by representatives of 11 of England's largest youth organisations (known then as 'juvenile organisations'). They met under the auspices of the 'National Council of Social Services', now known as the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO),[1] of which NCVYS has remained a member. The representatives agreed to form a 'Standing Conference of Juvenile Organisations' (SCJO) to promote mutual cooperation and coordination between their organisations. The first meeting of the new committee was held on 26 May 1936.[2]

The 11 organisations which contributed to the foundation of SCJO/NCVYS were The National Association of Boys' Clubs; Boys' Brigade; YMCA; YWCA; The Girls' Guildry; Church Lads' Brigade (now known as the Church Lads' and Church Girls' Brigade); The Girls' Friendly Society (now known as GFS Platform); Boy Scouts Association; Girl Guides Association; The National Council of Girls' Clubs; and the Girls Life Brigade. All remain as members, though some have changed their name or merged with other organisations.

Captain Stanley Smith of the Boys' Brigade was elected as the first Chairman.

From 1939, membership was open to so-called 'National Juvenile Organisations' which had a membership of at least 10,000, which were non-political in nature, and which worked towards assisting youths' mental, moral or physical training for citizenship. These requirements remained until 1972, when it was decided that a membership of 10,000 was no longer necessary. The constitution was also changed at this time so that members were now classified as 'Community and Voluntary Youth Services', which included local government initiatives, or 'National Voluntary Youth Organisations', which included charities and foundations.[2]

The SCJO was renamed several times, but remained consistent in its aims and values. In 1939 it became the 'Standing Conference for National Juvenile Organisations' (SCNJO); then in 1943 it became the 'Standing Conference of National Voluntary Organisations' (SCNVJO). It acquired its current name, NCVYS, in 1972.

By 1947, the total number of young people involved with its member organisations was nearly 2 million. By 2009 this had risen to the region of five million.[2]

Mission[edit]

NCVYS works with its membership of voluntary and community organisations to build thriving communities and sustainable networks that help all young people achieve their potential.

Vision[edit]

NCVYS's stated vision is of a society where young people are valued for their contribution and supported by their communities. NCVYS aims to achieve this vision by working through its membership network, bringing adults and young people together as partners in communities to ensure that young people have every chance to develop their potential.[3]

Values[edit]

NCVYS has committed itself to three values which guide the organisation in the way that it works.[3]

  1. Initiative – NCVYS believes that an enterprising spirit and can-do attitude is at the heart of empowered communities and is therefore essential to affecting change. The organisation strives to live this value by encouraging and supporting individuals and organisations to take initiative wherever they can.
  2. Responsibility – NCVYS believes that communities are interdependent and that all actions have consequences for the wellbeing of young people and their communities. The organisation strives to live this value by encouraging and supporting individuals and organisations to be responsible in the way they act.
  3. Equality – NCVYS believes that all individuals have equal worth and equal rights. The organisation strives to live this value by encouraging and supporting individuals and organisations to promote equality and challenge inequality everywhere.

Aims[edit]

The organisation's work follows three strategic aims:

  1. To act as champion for voluntary and community youth organisations, ensuring that their experiences are at the core of public policymaking.
  2. To provide leadership and support to voluntary and community organisations in the development of best practice and standards.
  3. To build an enterprise culture and coordinate a sector approach to business development.

Activities[edit]

Membership[edit]

NCVYS has over 280 member organisations, which all work for the personal and social development of young people. Their precise nature varies from regional or local networks, to national organisations, and they focus on a variety of areas. These include engaging young people in decision making processes; providing safe environments where young people can develop as individuals; promoting opportunities and services to a diverse range of young people; and developing and delivering government policies and practice that responds to the needs of young people.

The NCVYS network allows members to share and develop best practice in the sector, as well as receive practical advice and information on policy updates. It also allows NCVYS to act as the voice of the voluntary and community youth sector, giving members the opportunity to influence government policy and giving them a platform to raise the profile of the work that they do.[4]

ENVOY[edit]

ENVOY (Enthusiastic National Voice Of Youth) is a youth participation scheme run by NCVYS to ensure that it puts into practice the values which have been adopted by the organisation. It provides the opportunity for young people aged 11–25 to get involved in volunteering projects, participate in decision making processes at NCVYS, and take part in residential trips to build their confidence.[5]

Young Partners Award[edit]

The Young Partners Award was set up in 2001[6] to reward those organisations which actively seek to involve young people in their work. Anyone can nominate an organisation for an award to be presented at an annual ceremony; however the final decision is made by young people, who have developed the criteria for winning an award themselves.

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Youth Affairs[edit]

The APPG on Youth Affairs was established in 1998 to raise the profile of issues that affect and concern young people; encourage dialogue between parliamentarians, young people and youth services; and encourage a co-ordinated and coherent approach to youth policy making. The group currently has over 100 members, drawn from both Houses of Parliament.[7]

NCVYS, YMCA England and the British Youth Council run the Secretariat for the APPG.[8] Stewart Jackson MP (Con), Julie Hilling MP (Lab) and Simon Hughes MP (LD) chair the APPG. It is also supported by an advisory group of experts drawn from organisations that work with young people.

Policy Information and Consultations[edit]

One of NCVYS's key aims is to inform and influence policy that impacts on young people and the voluntary sector at a local, regional and national level. It does this by providing policy information and analysis for its members on issues that affect young people and the organisations that work with them. NCVYS also works with its members to formulate policy positions on behalf of the voluntary and community youth sector, either proactively or in response to government consultations. To assist this work it is involved with a number of coalitions and initiatives, including End Child Poverty,[9] Shine Week[10] and Change4Life.[11] Current policy work areas include safeguarding and child protection; education, employment and training; youth justice; volunteering and positive activities; and local strategic arrangements.[12]

Speaking Out[edit]

Speaking Out is a joint project between NCVYS and Children England[13] that sets out to build a voice for the children and young people's voluntary and community sector across Government, as part of a strategic partnership funded by the Office of the Third Sector within the Cabinet Office.

The project aims to develop closer links between a range of Government departments and the voluntary and community sector in delivering cross departmental plans, focusing on the direct implementation of initiatives which affect children and young people.[14]

The key policy priorities for 2009 to 2011 are youth employment, education and training; community cohesion, empowerment and citizenship; health; youth justice; housing and homelessness; and financial capabilities.

Events and Conferences[edit]

NCVYS has been involved in many external sector events as well as hosting its own events,[15] conferences, seminars and AGM. In July 2009, ENVOY members participated in Shine Week,[16] an annual celebration of young people's talent and achievement set up by the Department for Children, Schools and Families in 2008. Activities in 2009 included a series of debates on the state of youth in the UK today, held in the House of Lords.

Publications[edit]

NCVYS publishes a series of newsletters, magazines and information packs[17] including the following:

  • Exchange – a quarterly national magazine which highlights issues, news, policy analysis and events of interest to the voluntary and community youth sector. It also compiles articles and case studies that give practical advice for those individuals and organisations which work in the voluntary and community youth sector. Its readership is around 3,000 individuals nationally.[citation needed]The front cover of each issue of Exchange is created by a young designer, who interprets the theme of the magazine through their artwork. In the past, young designers have included Saliqur Rohman, from East London, who created the front cover of the Spring 2009 issue to depict the theme of 'young people and faith'. The Summer 2009 issue on disability was designed by Gareth Daley, a young freelance designer originally from Manchester, who used the 'disable the label' tagline and imagery. Employing young designers enables NCVYS to involve young people in its work, thereby helping to put the organisation's vision and values into practice, as well as giving them the exposure and promotion which they need to succeed.
  • Careers Guide – aimed at young people, this pamphlet provides a brief introduction to careers in the voluntary and community youth sector.
  • Keeping It Safe[18] toolkit – a guide to safeguarding standards for voluntary youth organisations. It gives practical advice on organisational policies and procedures, safe recruitment and selection, reporting concerns, suspicions and allegations, managing paid and volunteer staff, how to provide education, training and support and how to provide safe activities. Keeping It Safe is part of the wider national Sound Systems accreditation scheme[19] which encourages, promotes and recognises good practice in safeguarding and child protection.

Members[edit]

Members[20] of NCVYS include:

See also[edit]

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), an umbrella body for voluntary organisations in Scotland.

The Council for Wales of Voluntary Youth Services, an umbrella organisation for the voluntary youth sector in Wales.

Youthnet, the voluntary youth network for Northern Ireland.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Websites[edit]