On Friday 31 October PHF held its first 'Takeover Day', hosting a group of eight young people from the Hillingdon Refugee Support Group. The group are developing their own grant making programme for the Hillingdon area, with support from PHF and YouthBank UK.
During the day, the participants learnt about professional grant making, and spent time considering how to apply criteria for applications to their own programme. The event was also an opportunity for the young people and PHF staff and trustees to get to know one another, and for the visitors to learn about how a complex organisation works. A highlight of the day was a 'treasure hunt' around the PHF offices, in which the young people followed the path of an application from initial receipt, assessment against criteria and development by programme teams through to signing the cheques and evaluating the supported activity.
"For us, the takeover day marked a start in really putting young people at the heart of what we do," said Robert Dufton, PHF Director. "Youth participation is very powerful in ensuring that the activity we support, much of which focuses on young people, is delivering in the right ways."
This echoes the approach espoused by the recently launched Right Here special initiative, which is concerned with mental health services for young people. The initiative, run by PHF with the Mental Health Foundation, stipulates that pilot projects must have a youth steering group, to ensure that the services developed really are accessible to the people they are aimed at.
This week is National Youth Work week, and will culminate in National Takeover Day on 7 November. PHF held its takeover day a week earlier to avoid a clash with the college term.