CYP Now Awards

The Station is a genuine example of our partnership work that I'm incredibly proud of. I'd like to say a big thank you to all of the organisations involved for your great effort and commitment. 

Due to your hard work, I'm really pleased to say that we have been shortlisted for the National Award for Partnership at this year's Children and Young People Now awards

This shortlist is for all the work that goes on at The Station by the more than 20 organisations that are based or use the space regularly. It recognises your excellence, innovation and impact. I'd like to take this time to share how we've made it work and the core principles our partnerships are based on. 

The funding crisis 

Facing the current funding crisis pointed out by a Unison report in August, charities working for young people need to rethink their strategies. With an estimated £387 million in cuts over the last six years, our communities have been hit and we've seen the need for new and innovative approaches to the work we do. 

To protect vital youth services, the importance of working in unity is greater than ever before. Not only with the local council, but also with other youth service providers, creating a network of organisations. Together we can do so much more than on our own. 

Our vision is for every young person to have the opportunity to enter adulthood with the tools they need to reach their own potential and live a fulfilling life. There are numerous barriers in order for this to happen and every day we need to enable young people to get passed them.

How do we make it happen?

The Station was created following this vision. Bringing organisations together, we now offer:

  • sexual health treatment and advice - provided by Brook
  • emergy homes for the night - through Nightstop
  • mental health support - from Off The Record
  • disability forum - run by WECIL

And there's much more happening at The Station as we welcome new organisations to the building each year. By working together, we're joining our strengths and reaching further than we ever would alone. Between us we provide services to over 10,000 young people each year who walk through the red doors of The Station. They not only get the support they were looking for, but their world opens to many more opportunities as well. 

This place has made such a big difference in my life. I go to Basement sessions on Wednesday and make music, I have food here on Fridays and get counselling from Off The Record. 

What does it look like in practice?

A young person might come over to get a bed for the night from Nightstop. By talking to our reception staff and being in contact with the charity, they'll find out they can actually get job coaching support from us. The same young person might then come and have a free healthy meal on a Friday night in our chill out room. There they'll find new friends and youth workers who will build a relationship with them. 

Young people's needs are so varied and no matter which organisation they turn to, there's not one charity that can do everything. We all need to work together to bring the best support we can. Ultimately, young people get better support, advice and opportunities where there is variety and where their needs are put first. 

Mutual benefits

Running the Station on the principle of working together, our strategy has been to coordinate these partnerships to make sure resources are used efficiently and we have the maximum impact on young people's lives. Our great partnership projects have brought several million pounds of income into the city, a lot of which we sub-contract to other organisations.

In other cases, in order to support great projects or organisations which have the same values as us, we offer reduced or free room hire, rental payment schedules that help to deal with funding shortfalls or join funding bids to allow smaller scale projects to access funding that might otherwise be closed to them.

A successul partnership is a win-win situation and we get mutual benefits. It's not always easy, with organisations having different priorities and expectations. That's why we make sure that each partner is clear about what they are getting. We have honest, open discussions from the beginning about what we're trying to achieve and what measures we take to reach the impact we aim for. 

By supporting and working with others, we are enabled to engage communities we might not otherwise reach and support young people who wouln't otherwise benefit from our services. We are also committed to supporting the youth sector as best as we can during this difficult financial period. 

The future 

No matter how great it is to be recognised, our work isn't finished. We develop new partnerships every day: right now we're delivering an NCS programme with seven other partners and us working together is crucial to delivering a service which reaches every young person who needs it. We'll continue to develop new partnerships and work towards our vision of every young person having the opportunities they need to achieve their goals. 

Find out more about what's available at The Station