We spoke to The Young Ealing Foundation, the organisation supports the children’s and young people’s sector in Ealing, creating a strong and cohesive sector which provides the best possible opportunities for young people.
What is your organisation called and what does it do?
The Young Ealing Foundation (YEF) is an independent registered charity established in 2017. We work with the local community to empower small, local charities, enabling them to thrive and ensuring there is sustainable, high quality service provision for children and young people in Ealing.
We run four local networks and have over 70 members made up of grassroots organisations. We model and promote partnership working, and contribute to a strong, non-competitive and cohesive sector. Ensuring all young people in Ealing can access the opportunities and support they need to grow up and lead happy and safe lives, fulfil their potential and become a valued and listened to part of the local community.
What are the biggest challenges your organisation faces – now and in the coming years?
Research suggests Ealing will be one of the boroughs least likely to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. There had been over £1 million in cuts prior to the pandemic and further cuts are expected in the near future. Ealing has a large and very active voluntary and community sector working to address the key issues. The Young Ealing Foundation exists as a membership organisation to support these vital delivery groups and provide them with the skills to not just survive recent crises, but to become sustainable in this difficult climate.
In the past year, the gap has widened between children living in deprivation and the rest of the community. Young people need our support now more than ever to secure employment, overcome mental health challenges, and feel safe in Ealing. The Young Ealing Foundation is committed to supporting a strong and effective youth sector because it is what young people deserve – to enjoy their childhood, be supported, and have access to opportunity.
Please can you describe something that you’ve learnt or that has surprised you during the COVID-19 crisis, if anything?
The challenges facing the sector at both a national and local level are significant, and we recognise that no one organisation can tackle them alone. We have seen the true value in our ability to support others to work together, to find sustainable solutions and to face the future as a community that believes in our young people and what they can achieve.
Thinking beyond financial donations, how can Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre and the businesses based here best support you – now and longer term?
To achieve Ealing-wide change – support from the local business community is vital. We can work collaboratively and flexibly to enable businesses to contribute to Ealing in a way that meets their objectives and needs. Opening up opportunities to enable children and young people to thrive. Detailed below are some examples of how they can support us;
Volunteering opportunities – whether that be a Trustee role or helping to pack food parcels at our food project in Southall.
Skill sharing workshops with our young people.
Work with our Ealing Young Champions – they will review how Youth Friendly your organisation is.
Support the Ealing Youth Awards – a local event to celebrate young people and great youth work in all its forms.
What are your hopes for future?
Through a connected and supported community we will build a brighter future for Ealing’s children and young people.