Supporting young people in Bucks
In partnership with Rothschild Foundation
15th March 2022
Today, we are pleased to publish a report from our consultation for the Rothschild Foundation, which explores the challenges and opportunities that 16-25 year-olds in Bucks face as they transition to adulthood. Following the publication of our interim report back in June 2021, this consultation report is the culmination of several months of fieldwork, during which our CfEY project team spoke to a whole host of young people and youth-facing professionals across Bucks.
The interim report, comprising a literature review and data scan, laid bare some of the challenges that young people faced in Bucks, and made it clear that opportunities were unevenly distributed across the county. These insights were invaluable in shaping the focus of our research but it was clear there was no substitute for getting out ‘in the field’ and speaking to young people about the challenges they face, the support available to them, and areas in which the Rothschild Foundation could address gaps through their grant-making. We also spoke to teachers, youth workers, charity coordinators and other youth-facing professionals to learn from their experience and expertise.
Through our fieldwork, conducted over summer 2021, we were keen to speak to young people and professionals who too often get missed out in this sort of research. This meant going beyond mainstream gatekeepers, to small community groups, pupil referral units, homeless shelters and sports charities, among others. I won’t soon forget a conversation with an extraordinary group of young carers, who were adamant that policymakers, grant-makers and others needed to understand the challenges they faced and make considered investments to improve the support available to them.
To access a range of participants, we drew on the Rothschild Foundation and CfEY’s existing networks but also took a ‘snowball sampling’ approach, where young people and youth-facing professionals would point us to other people we should speak to as part of the consultation.
Our consultation culminated in a series of recommendations for the Rothschild Foundation to raise the impact of their grant-making. We then took our recommendations back to young people and the professionals that support them, to critique and amend our recommendations.
The result is a report that we hope will be invaluable to the Rothschild Foundation but also to all those in Bucks looking to improve provision available to the county’s young people. Across the consultation, we found schools, voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations and council staff who were going out of their way to support 16-25 year-olds in Bucks. The findings of our report should help Bucks build on some of the excellent work going on in the county, addressing gaps where they exist and leaning on the expertise of those on-the-ground who work tirelessly to support young people.