Posts Tagged ‘solent youth action’

What does Solent Youth Action do?

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Told in pictures. I thought this was kinda neat.

v Awards Portsmouth 2009

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

photo 094Tonight was the v Awards Evening 2009 in Portsmouth – a youth volunteering achievements awards event to celebrate the work done by young people in Portsmouth.

It was run by Solent Youth Action, as we deliver the vinvolved youth programme in Portsmouth, so I went along (originally to watch and lend moral support, but I ended up getting roped into going on stage to present some of the awards and be a guest speaker!).

It was a great evening. Awards evenings can often be dull and repetitive affairs, but I loved this one. I find it inspiring to hear the wide variety of ways that the young people have contributed to their community, and the evening was a great taster of the work that we are doing in the Portsmouth area.


Charity auction for Comic Relief

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

I generally try and avoid using my blog to ask for help for Solent Youth Action – the last time I remember doing it was back in 2007 when I was looking for mentors for our new mentoring scheme.

So I hope you’ll forgive me now if I try and use my space here to ask for support for an SYA event coming up.

If you are near Hursley next Monday (16th) afternoon, please come along to the Clubhouse at 2.30pm.

Young volunteers for SYA are refurbishing old furniture: restoring it, cleaning it, and decorating it. They hadn’t done anything like this before, so it has been a great opportunity to them to learn new, practical skills.

The furniture was all donated – these were items that otherwise would’ve been thrown away, making it also a good chance to teach a valuable reduce, reuse, recycle message.

The fruits of their labour will go on sale in a charity auction to be held in the Clubhouse, with all money received to be donated to Comic Relief.

Please come along and take a look at what they’ve been working on.

More details about the event, and the items of furniture that the young people are working on, can be found on the SYA website.

Drawing pretty graphs with Open Flash Chart

Friday, December 19th, 2008

I’m keen for young people that Solent Youth Action works with to have access to information about how the charity runs. I’d like for us to be as transparent as possible, and as a geek, one of the ways that I am working on this is by putting more stuff on our website.

We put our Financial Statements online so that people could see where we get our money from, and how we spend it. But it’s a dry document – a twenty-two page PDF of numbers and accounting blurb.

While it is important for this information to be available, it’s not easily accessible to many like this. Tonight I had a play with presenting it as animated online graphs using the awesome Open Flash Chart.

The Open Flash Chart site has very clear tutorials and a ton of examples, so I wont waste time here by going into detail explaining how to use it.

But it’s worth highlighting just how simple it is – drop the swf file into a directory on your webserver, then point it at a JSON file with your data (either by URL, or by reference in your HTML). That’s pretty much it.

The most complicated bit was copying figures out of the Financial Statements document and pasting it into a JSON text file. Even this was fairly quick.

Flash graphs are not as accessible as something like Google Chart images because they require Flash to be installed. However, I hope the visual flair they add makes up for this, and will help grab the attention of our volunteers.

I created a couple of quick charts to show our income and expenditure, but there are many more examples of how to use it here and here.

A year in SYA

Monday, August 11th, 2008

After my post looking back at five years at IBM, time for another reflective look back.

This time: looking back at the last year’s work in Solent Youth Action. I’ve just had to write the Chair’s foreword for our Annual Report. Writing coherent English is never my strong suit, so I figure that as I spent a fair bit of time trying to write it I might as well reuse it in as many places as possible!


Me & U

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

I don’t often blog about work that we do in Solent Youth Action. Not sure why. Perhaps because the best stuff we achieve isn’t normally something tangible I can pick up and show people.

But today it is – because today I got a proof copy of a booklet that we’ve produced that I wanted to share.

Me & U (“My Emotions Understood”) is a project we’ve been running with the Brookvale Youth Mental Health Team. The idea was to work with young people who have experienced mental health illnesses and support them to write a book of thoughts and poetry that could raise awareness of mental health issues. Through the production of the booklet, we supported the young people to try and explain the emotional experience of a young person with mental health issues.

They’ve managed to produce a stunning booklet that is as moving as it is informative. It’s an amazing achievement and, I think, very unique.

When I try and explain what “Solent Youth Action” does, people sometimes find that it isn’t what they might have first expected from a youth volunteering charity. I’ve blogged before that “volunteering” can take many forms, and this is another fantastic example.