Posted on Mon 14 February 2011
When the FST programme started in the Ashfield neighbourhood of Nottinghamshire, the Local Agent (Nottinghamshire Community Foundation) committed a first tranche of funding to a mapping exercise, in order to better understand the needs of young people in the area. The consultants employed to undertake this piece of work mapped the local area, pinpointing facilities and services available across a range of categories. This information was used by the Community Champion (now FST Local Agent) to highlight which facilites and services were being well used and which not, and to identify potential gaps in provision.
The exercise took the form of a map with different coloured sticky dots to indicate services being used, high and low levels of attendance and other relevant details. Crucially, the exercise looked not just at which buildings and services were being used, but also at their capacity - which projects had spare capacity and thus might be able to become even more involved in improving the local community? Which projects might benefit from closer working or sharing capacity?
During 2006-07, the next phase took place. Around 1,000 children and young people from a variety of schools, clubs and other facilities were interviewed, to gather the views of young people on the services available to them. A summary of the data can be downloaded below, called 'Consultation Report', and the findings were used to put together a programme of initiatives. The download entitled 'Youth Initiative Forward Plan' is the analysis and planning developed from the results of the consultation. This document was written by the Community Champion and taken to the local panel to inform decisions as to how FST funding was going to be spent.
Once the young peoples' needs had been identified through the research phases, it was the task of the Local Agent to identify projects that could answer these needs through a programme of activities across the patch. For this, commissioning documents and proposals were put together, asking for interested projects to come forward and submit proposals for how they could use the funding available to tackle the identified needs. Two of these tender documents are downloadable below. Local projects were able to bid competitively to run the identified activities by submitting an activity brief and then a full application detailing activities, budgets, timescales and beneficiaries.
Although this work was started some time ago and the 2-year funding for the projects is coming to an end, the Local Agent is currently going through a process of evaluation with the funded projects, to identify and address their longer-term sustainability, in the hope that the work will continue beyond the lifetime of FST set-up funding.