So here we go, with my first attempt at an intended monthly update from my position as CEO of PYF.
The timing of this one is great, as we have recently witnessed a number of game changing events within our organisation and sector at large.
My first thoughts are with the recent announcement by Coventry City Council that we have been selected as the ‘Infrastructure Lead’ for Youth Work in the city. In essence, this will allow us the opportunity to build upon our long-standing partnership work with local voluntary sector youth service agencies as well as emerging services from the local authority. The first phase of this work has seen five exciting programmes supported to develop new services for young people. We look forward to working with colleagues from the Moat House Community Trust, Creative Optimistic Visions, Media Mania, Aptitude CIC and the Coventry Skate Park Project.
Whilst there is still much to do, we have initiated a mapping exercise which will inform us of the local landscape of youth services, which we will use to develop a greater understanding of priority and need.
Key strategic partners are being contacted to further our understanding of policy objectives we could be influencing. Exciting times, with thanks to the local authority and voluntary sector partners for their co-operation as we seek to address local service losses with positive action.
Secondly, we recently had the pleasure of supporting Coventry’s ‘City of Culture 2021’ bid at its session at the House of Commons. Anyone who knows PYF will know that we have been heavily invested in this work since day one. The young people we meet across the city are well informed of this bid and it’s cultural components, which is a significant result in itself. Genuine engagement in cultural activity is embedded in to all of our work. Keep an eye out for some big news coming in the coming weeks!
Linked to this, is (in our opinion) the only show in town worth talking about! The 1st November will see PYF working with partners Armonico Consort and Warwick Arts Centre to showcase some serious talent.
The ‘Changing Trax – Electric Proms’ presents 14 of Coventry’s finest young emerging artists in an evening of unique performances. The artists will perform their own tracks to a backdrop of a 40 piece orchestra and 200 strong youth choir, courtesy of critically acclaimed Armonico Consort. Former BBC Proms Young Composer of the Year, Toby Young has re-worked each piece collaboratively with the artists for this showcase. Having formerly worked with the likes of Chase & Status, Duran Duran, The Rolling Stones and Ellie Goulding, Young turns his hand to working on pieces which started in makeshift studios and youth clubs across Coventry. The young people performing are all current participants or alumni from the Positive Youth Foundation (PYF) and its Youth Music funded programme Changing Trax.
PYF is an ambitious social enterprise based in Coventry which exists in order to raise the aspirations of young people. These exclusive collaborations will be conducted by Armonico Consort’s Artistic Director Christopher Monks. The show is billed to be an eclectic mix of musical genres including HipHop, Soul and Pop. The evening will be punctuated with dance, short films and achievements of PYF and its beneficiaries. Book your tickets now!
And finally, we have been involved in consultation with a national partner about a potentially significant investment in to the city. Whilst this is at the early stage of a bidding process, my feelings about this are incredibly positive, regardless of the outcome. The process involves key partners from the city, all committing to working collaboratively, to challenge the status quo and be bold in accepting the changes we need to make in order to better serve our city. This was refreshing and gives me genuine hope that the future for young people’s and community services look positive.
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