When a joint position is reached, the next step is for funders to be able to effectively externalise that voice. This may involve bringing together funders from different sectors and with particular perspectives. It requires understanding of other organisations’ positions, and trust between them, and so builds on the conditions we seek to create for funders of all types through our everyday work. We may ourselves also operate as an active partner in the process of communicating shared messages, using our wider networks across London to take conversations forward.
Working with London Youth and Partnership for Young London, we created the Vision for Young Londoners in summer 2015. It describes a vision for how youth services in London should look by 2025, bringing together voices from across London’s civil society under a unified banner. Over 100 organisations working with children and young people in arts, housing, sport, health, employability as well as youth services have now pledged their support for the Vision.
Jim Minton from London Youth explains. “Following a workshop where we agreed a set of high-level principles, we developed the vision so that we would be able to speak with one voice to policymakers about what needs to change. The Vision for Young Londoners is also about how the sector itself needs to collaborate properly. Many organisations are competing for funding, but they are still part of a wider system, and it is important to work with that in mind.”