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Dynamix, pharmacy has been training other organisations in how to promote the participation of young people in their organisations for 24 years. Recently Dynamix turned the spotlight on themselves and decided it was high time they did the same. 

 

Dynamix were successful in getting funding from Gwirvol which is the WCVA fund to promote young volunteers and now Dynamix is inviting young people to sign up to Young Dynamix

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In Young Dynamix the young people will have the opportunity to join the online advisory panel.  This online group will receive updates every week with information about children and young people’s rights and participation, can contribute to consultations about matters that affect children and young people in Wales and steer how feedback from children and young people is collected.

 

Members of Young Dynamix will also have the opportunity to train up to be a Young Trainer and co-facilitate workshops alongside Dynamix trainers or they can choose to participate in focus group workshops giving their opinions on matters that affect Welsh children and young people. 

 

In addition, they will have their chance to become Young Evaluators and they can then evaluate whether Dynamix is succeeding in doing what it should be doing.  

 

Young Dynamix is open to young people aged 14-25 and is for anyone who is interested in helping make participation work better for young people in Wales. 

 

“Dynamix has a history of working with young people from all walks of life for whom having a say is incredibly important.  Over the years we have heard many young people say that they wished that they could do our job; finally, they have the chance”

Jo Stephens, Dynamix Trainer

 

Recruitment for Young Dynamix is taking place right now so if you have a young person who would like to volunteer with young Dynamix call: 01792 466231 or e-mail us.

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An innovative music project with young people has taken place with three fabulous groups of young people in SwanseaWriting their own lyrics and composing their own tracks has given these young people a real taste of their own potential. 

All 3 these participative arts projects were funded by the Arts Council for Wales and delivered by Dynamix and Learn Thru Music working together in partnership

The first group were from the Derek Roberts Centre in Swansea, which educates young people with additional learning needs associated with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The second group met at the Dynamix office in Swansea and these involved participants from Bridgend's support team for young people who are outside of the school system.  The third group came from BAYS project which provides support both for young people leaving care and young people who have experienced homelessness. 

In all three cases the young people wrote songs about issues that matter to them and 'not being labelled', 'anti-bullying' and 'enjoying life' were amongst the themes chosen.  They developed their own recorded tracks.  The aim of the project was to give the young people a chance to express their opinions whilst at the same time learning new skills in the field of arts and music.  It is hoped this will open up new horizons for their future aspirations in the arts.  

 

“What a fantastic opportunity for the pupils.  It gave them a platform to really express what's important to them, which they would otherwise never normally do.  They were so proud of their own achievements at the end and they had fantastic support from the trainers.” Gabriele Heinrich, 38, Derek Roberts Centre Manager

“We are really proud of this project, grateful to the young people who have worked so hard and delighted to work alongside Learn Thru Music, which is an arts organisations we rate very highly for sharing our participative approach to engagement. The whole project has been underpinned by respect, inclusion and empowerment” 

Amy Sanders, 38, Dynamix Projects Manager

The funding for this project was made available directly by the Arts Council for Wales in response to the earlier success of previous projects from the Reach the Heights programme funded by the European Social Fund.   

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Good Practice in Communities First in Tackling Child Poverty

Llwynhendy Communities First partnered with Bigyn 4 to undertake a unique Aspirations Project with the support of Dynamix.  The work was funded by the Communities First Advice Service.  It targeted every primary school in the area and worked with both children and teachers from the school to look at children's aspirations and what can be done to raise their future aspirations.  Lindy Butler, the Llwynhendy Communities First tells us how the project progressed:

What was the background that led to you doing this piece of work?  What was the motivation for the project?

We were informed in November 2011 by the Communities First Advice Service (WCVA) that Dynamix had been commissioned to work in Partnership with Communities First to offer support to tackle Child Poverty in our areas, in line with the Child Poverty Strategy for Wales.

The programmes offered by Dynamix were many and varied, and there were a few that stood out for our area, Llwynhendy. They were the Raising Aspirations programmes that were available.  Having worked previously with Dynamix on a whole Community Consultation in Llwynhendy – again funded by the Communities First Advice Service, we had experience of the excellent facilitation and support Dynamix could bring to our area.

We knew how high the levels of poverty were in Llwynhendy, through various statistics that were available to us, and we knew through previous projects undertaken within schools in Llwynhendy how children in our area were affected by all aspects of child poverty.  We knew that the children would be the best people in our Community to take the lead on informing us of issues relevant to them and their families.

What did you do? 

We met with Dynamix to plan how the Aspirations project would be facilitated in our area and in the adjoining Bigyn 4 Communities First ward. 

We decided that we would target 6 primary schools from our two areas  - 6 sessions in each of the schools and a 2hour session with 1 class from each primary school, this would be followed by a 1 ½ hour twilight session with all the teachers from each of the schools.

We then followed this up with an ‘Aspirations interschool conference’ an event that would bring all 6 classes from all 6 schools together, as well as teachers and Communities First Partnership members for them to see what had been achieved.

The Aspirations project would enable the children to aim higher, reflect and plan for their futures.

Prior to going in to the schools Communities First Staff from both areas along with teachers and workers from several partner organisations (Statutory and voluntary sector) who worked in partnership with Communities First took part in a one day training session, ‘Understanding Child Poverty and Exploring Local Solutions’ and ‘Developing a Plan for Tackling Child Poverty’ the training would raise awareness of child poverty issues in our communities.

Who was involved?  Who took part?  Were there any partners or collaborators?

130 children took part along with 6 teachers, 25 partnership members, 5 Dynamix staff and 4 Communities First staff.  Communities First Llwynhendy were the lead in Partnership with Dynamix staff.

Did you achieve your intended outcomes?  Were there any additional or unexpected results?

We did!  Each element of the project was a huge success and the feedback from the children at the end was vital to the planning of future projects within the Communities First programme in our areas.

When looking at their futures, children's aspirations ranged from traditional professions such as doctor, solider, police officer, pilot, and vet, and traditional trades such as joiner, builder or working in Dyfed steel. Others cited the service industry aspiring to look after people, or look after animals and some had dreams of working in Pizza Hut or MacDonalds.  Many of them aspired to stardom, with a huge emphasis on becoming a sporting hero, playing rugby, football, and many less main stream sports, and some aspired to do something creative:  in music, in art (sculptor & abstract painter) and clothes design. Fantastically, one child aspired to be Santa Claus.

Children also identified a whole host of personal qualities relating to their character and also personal circumstances that they aspired to achieve as adults relating to their wealth, family, relationships and offspring. 

Children were able to identify both the skills and personal attributes they already have that enables them to believe in themselves and achieve what they aspire to achieve. 

If people want to find out more who should they contact? 

Name: Lindy Butler               Organisation: Communities First Llwynhendy

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

AND Facebook: Communities First Llwynhendy

Tel no: 01554 779910 ext 71

 

There has been a good range of approaches by different communities first to conducting aspirations projects. Where this project brought together children from a range of primary schools, Mid Valleys West focussed on one primary school and did a series of twilight sessions on aspirations for teachers & support staff.  Newport Central Cluster also brought together a group of key professionals working with children and families in similar sessions and also worked with parents but these were selected by the Communities First teams themselves.  In contrast Upper Rhumney Valley focussed on a project in which teachers selected parents who participated in series of courses to reflect on their children's aspirations & how they could support their children.  Both East Cardiff and AbberValley, Lansbury Park & Craig Y Rhacca  stand apart from all these projects in focussing their aspirations projects with pupils from a chosen secondary school in their area. 

Can you explain a hard idea using only the 1000 most used words?  We have had a go at introducing Dynamix doing precisely that.  You can see the words we had to scrap and change. We used UpGoerFive: This is a web tool designed precisely for this purpose and it got its name from trying to describe Up Goer Five (NASA's Saturn 5 Rocket) Here's our attempt: 

 About us (Dynamix):

 What we do: We do (provide) training and we find out what people think about things (provide consultations).

 How: We are different (unique) because everything we do is fun and people get to take part (we use participative and fun methodology) in all our work . We are well known for this and we have a number of books(publications) to tell (teach) others how to do it.

 For the right reasons: Of all the businesses that put people first we are one of the leading ones in our land: the land on the left of the rest. (Dynamix is one of Wales' leading examples of a social enterprise). This makes us different from businesses that put money before people (private companies) and people who work alone for money (independent consultants) because we are not trying to make money (not-for-profit) and so we put what's good for people (the benefit to communities) at the heart of our work. We are a business that is run by the people who work in it (a workers cooperative). We put the things that matter first (our values and ethics first) in the way we run our business (organisation) and look after people who we work with (with whom we work). That makes us the right ones to want (the ethical choice).
Who we work with: We work with children & young people and all other people (adult community members). We ALSO give new ideas to people who work with these groups (educate professionals who support these groups). You can see what other people say about us (testimonials) and case studies of our work or check out our latest news. You can learn about who pays us. (our contracts withWe are paid by people who run our land, our towns and cities, and by all the big places which work to do things for other people (Welsh Government, local authorities, public authorities, health organisations, charities, voluntary & other third sector organisations, housing associations, national bodies & public authorities and community organisations.).
Long standing: We  have been working to make change for people (social change) happen through training and by asking people what they think of things (consultations) since 1989. We have a very good team of people (an extremely skilled professional team).

Good Practice in Communities First in Tackling Child Poverty

Evanstown Communities First decided that the focus of their child poverty work would be to conduct a consultation around subjects linked to tackling poverty and to use this to establish their baselines by which they could measure the impact of their future work.   Matthew Smith, the Evanstown Communities First Coordinator tells us how the project progressed:

What was the background that led to you doing this piece of work?  What was the motivation for the project?

The motivation for the consultation was to provide a baseline for future community regeneration and anti poverty work in the area. As a local Partnership Co-ordinator, I was keen to see local priorities reflected in the new Communities First cluster.  I contacted the Communities Info & Advice line, following seeing an advert about the range of work Dynamix did. Russell Todd lodged my query with Dynamix. 

What did you do? 

Together we devised the different stages of this project.  This included:

  1. An introductory session with a task group to identify the outcome areas upon which we would develop baselines & to agree how this consultation would be undertaken

  2. Training for the task group in participatory techniques of conducting a base-line consultation

  3. The consultation

  4. The results were then compiled into a report to inform the plans for the future of Communities First in this area.

Who was involved?  Who took part?  Were there any partners or collaborators?

We formed a consultation task group with a positive name, 'Brighter Futures'. The phrase 'child poverty' could have been used but was too negative in the local community - it could have been very downbeat and off putting for community members. We gradually gained support from a community association, tenants and residents group, rural development plan, housing association, a local Life Centre and local authority Children and Young People's partnership. This group designed the questions with Dynamix and carried out the consultation across 6 events.

Did you achieve your intended outcomes?  Were there any additional or unexpected results?

Successful process. We achieved the following: - Created a baseline for future work - Consulted 242 people across an expansive rural area, - Successful in gaining information on key issues: local aspirations, perceptions of health, community safety, confidence about the future e.g. employability, knowledge of benefits changes, etc., perceptions of public transport.

If people want to find out more who should they contact? 

Name: Matthew Smith

Organisation: Communities First

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel no: 01443 674396

Website: www.commfirstblackmill.or.uk