Coming from a Youth Work background my interests have always been in building the capacity of the services and environment within which young people live and learn. My 14 years’ experience is varied – from working with young homeless people – to developing detached community-based youth work- to setting up and managing a Mentoring Plus project for Crime Concern. In doing this work I have acquired a considerable understanding of the ever-changing (and some static) issues that relate to young people and various strategies developed to address them.
Throughout my involvement with different projects, developing staff, volunteers and young leaders have always been at the fore. For instance, at Mentoring Plus I was responsible for the recruitment and training of 50 local volunteers each year. Integral to the training was conveying a message of reducing youth crime and promoting community
responsibility, whilst working towards empowering the young people on a personal level.
I trained at the YMCA George Williams College where I completed a BA Hon’s in Informal and Community Education. Following this I undertook assessor training through an organisation called Young @ Now; City & Guilds 7306 – D32 & D33, LOCN and ASDAN in order to more effectively support those I worked with to gain accreditation. I also have a post-graduate certificate in Supervision and a Diploma in Performance Coaching.
As a free-lance consultant, I am currently involved in a range of consultancy and training assignments. Having kept strong links with my previous employers, a large part of the work I undertake is for the aforementioned organisations. This includes teaching and assessing on a range of courses for the YMCA; Introductory Studies (LOCN), Foundation Studies (NVQ), and the full-time degree. I also tutor on a number of Connexions UCX and PA Diploma courses. Now I train and assess on a number of accredited Youth Work courses for local authorities and voluntary groups, including LOCN, NVQ and Connexions PA Diploma. For Crime Concern I am part of the Programme Prevention Support Team carrying out support and training for a number of youth crime prevention initiatives
See Charlotte’s blog here.
[heading]What’s it like to work at Youthforce?[/heading]
“The culture at Youthforce is good fun. It’s young, vibrant and people believe in what they do. We are hard workers but know how to have fun.
I founded the business in 2005. My main role is to set the strategic direction and oversee running the business. I’m a values-driven person and believe we should do the right thing as a business; be ethical and financially sound. I think making doing good and making money can and should be equal drivers in any business.
I support the operations director and keep things on track. A big part of my role is to make sure we have the right people and provide the support they need. I try to position the organisation and make financial decisions to help it grow. I come up with strategic plans, planning for away days, looking at profit and loss forecasts, dealing with large clients. I’m always scanning the horizon, looking at other companies, checking the news and meeting leaders and managers. I keep the values alive and help keep the fun going.
The thing I most enjoy about my job is also the thing that makes me tick; changing young people’s lives. I believe in Apprenticeships and feel privileged to make a difference. I’m a big people person, I like networking, influencing and understanding the big picture.
Before I founded Youthforce, I worked for a charity running a mentoring scheme for young offenders. We would recruit 30 young people, and 30 – 40 mentors a year. Whilst I was there I took maternity leave, it gave me time to think, and I decided to become self-employed. I got so busy that I decided to create my own business.
In 13 years, there have been ups and downs, and we’ve had to evolve and reinvent things. I was an inexperienced business owner in the beginning, but I have gained a lot of experience. Along the way we’ve changed so many lives, I really love what I do.”
– Charlotte Blant