Nationally, the police recorded 1,500,369 domestic abuse related incidents and crimes in England and Wales in the year ending March 2022. Additionally, 86% of women aged 18-24 have been sexually harassed. There is an urgent need for programmes focused on reducing violence against women and girls.
YCC’s Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Programme (DAPP) seeks to increase the safety of women and children, and the quality of life of everyone in the family, by working with men who recognise that they have been abusive towards an intimate female partner and who want to stop that behaviour. Domestic abuse includes physical violence, emotional abuse, or any other form of coercive control.
Alongside the course, YCC provides an integrated support service for partners/ex-partners (or other person identified as at risk).
Women and children are at the heart of the project.We enable their voices to be heard within a domestic abuse perpetrator programme.
Sadly despite the high levels of domestic abuse and demand for this programme in Kirklees, throughout 2022 and 2023 YCC has steadily lost funding for this vital service. This started with the early termination of Ministry of Justice contract and culminated with a loss of funding from Kirklees Local Authority earlier this year. Additionally, West Yorkshire was not awarded any funding for this work from the Home Office funding round earlier this year. This means that for the past four months, YCC has had to draw on its own reserves to ensure that the programme is still provided and victims are still supported.
Today the BBC has reporting on this crucial issue and you can read more about it HERE.
YCC spoke to Jason who attended the programme to hear his story, in his words. We asked him what different the intervention made to his life and why it should be funded in the future.
For many years, Yorkshire Children’s Centre have run a charity shop called ‘Pass It On’ in Heckmondwike.
‘Pass It On’ is currently based on the same site as one of YCC’s colleges which provides alternative education provision to young people who have been or are at risk of being excluded from mainstream education. The provision is unique because alongside offering traditional curriculum lessons such as Maths and English, it provides the opportunity for young people to gain hands-on vocational experience and skills in sectors such as hospitality, beauty, and the trades.
Currently, the college based in Heckmondwike supports 50 young people aged 14 to 16. However, demand for places is far higher than the current available provision.
YCC recognises that 2023 is a very challenging time to be a young person. The Covid pandemic has meant that young people have lost almost two years within a traditional education setting, years that are crucial to the development of their core life skills.
Research by the Prince’s Trust, published last year, found that (23%) of young people asked in the UK agree they will never recover from the emotional impact of the Covid pandemic. The report reveals the happiness and confidence of 16 to 25 year olds has hit the lowest point in its thirteen-year history. More than a third (36%) reveal that the pandemic has caused a long-term negative impact on their stress levels. Also, almost half (48%) report experiencing a mental health problem, 46% say the pandemic has made their mental health worse, and 44% agree they are more anxious now.
Yorkshire Children’s Charity recognises that now is the time to act to support young people who are at risk of being not able to see positive futures for themselves. We are excited to announce that moving forward we will be using the space currently occupied by ‘Pass It On’ to expand the college with additional classrooms. In addition to creating new spaces, it will also enable us to provide provision for over 16-year-olds. The move into post 16 provision is vital – young people are now required to be in education or training until they are 18, however many colleges do not provide suitable support for our young people. By providing this new service, YCC hopes to move a step closer to our vision of all young people having opportunities for a better life, now and in the future.
Mark Farmer, CEO at Yorkshire Children’s Centre, says: “This is an exciting time for YCC and we’re pleased to be able to move forward with this expansion. We know that there is a significant need in the local area and this increased provision will make an important difference to local families and young people. Young people are at risk of becoming a lost generation due to Covid and other significant world events, such as the cost of living crisis and the Ukraine war, which are impacting on all areas of society. By growing our provision, we are helping to meet the urgent need of young people in Kirklees.”
This expansion does mean that from 7th October, YCC will no longer be running our Pass It On shop. However, this isn’t the end for Pass It On! There’s new exciting developments coming soon that will be announced over the next few weeks – watch this space!
In the meantime, we’d like to thank anyone who has kindly supported the charity shop previously, we remain incredibly grateful for all of the support from the local community!
YCC was established in Kirklees almost 50 years ago, and we are here to ensure children and families are given opportunities for a better life when being faced with challenges. We want to still be here in the next 50 years, making a positive impact to even more families.
To future proof YCC, we are delighted to announce that we have teamed up with Pilotlight, a charity that connects senior leaders (also known as ‘Pilotlighters’) from businesses to support and coach charities, such as YCC, through their strategic choices and decision.
Recently, we invited our Pilotlighters to our Trustee and Management meeting where they coached us through a review of our name and brand. Their expert advice is already making a big difference in helping us shape the charity’s future and to sustain longevity.
YCC are looking forward to continuing to work with Pilotlight and seeing their support come into fruition to enable us to continue improving lives and inspiring change to those living in Kirklees and surrounding areas.
YCC’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Farmer, said “We have already worked with a team of ‘Pilotlighters’ from KPMG to look at our name and brand, and have taken some of that work forwards with our Trustees. We look forward to joining the Pilotlight 360 programme in the coming months.”
YCC’s Brian Jackson College are proud to announce that they have once again achieved a rating of GOOD during their recent Ofsted inspection!
At Brian Jackson College, we pride ourselves on the quality of work we deliver, and the outcomes we achieve to improve the lives of young people and inspire positive change to encourage better opportunities for their futures.
In June we welcomed Ofsted inspectors into Brian Jackson College, where they carried out a two-day inspection of our education settings across Huddersfield and Heckmondwike. We were delighted that the inspectors recognised the invaluable support, ongoing improvements, and dedication we provide to our young people on a daily basis.
Throughout their visit, inspectors spent time talking to staff and students, and discussing their views around various topics such as safeguarding, bullying and equality and diversity. The staff and students gave glowing feedback and spoke highly of the unique family-feel at the college. The inspectors agreed with the comments and observations made, so much so, they have awarded us, for the third time, a GOOD Ofsted rating.
The team at Brian Jackson College couldn’t be prouder of maintaining this achievement throughout the years.
Headteacher, Jacqui Green, was over-joyed to share the exciting news with parents, carers, students and colleagues. Jacqui said: “This is an excellent report, particularly at a time when the benchmark for ‘Good’ is at the highest level it has ever been. I am particularly pleased that Ofsted recognised the journey of improvements made at Brian Jackson College over the past four years and I would like to thank the parents/carers who have supported the school during this time. Once again, may I thank all those involved in the inspection itself, especially the staff, Brian Jackson College, governors, and the pupils who shone during the inspection process and continue to make a positive contribution to school life.”
Mark Farmer, Chief Executive Officer at Yorkshire Children’s Centre, added: “I am delighted that the great work our team do to develop our students continues to be recognised by Ofsted. Our model of blending academic and vocational learning, in a nurturing, supportive and safe environment, provides a fresh start for young people for whom mainstream schooling has not worked. Brian Jackson College is a shining example of good alternative education provision, and I am proud of the difference we make.”
Brian Jackson College is an alternative provision school, run across two sites in Heckmondwike and Huddersfield, teaching core and vocational subjects to around 60 pupils in years 9-11.
National Work From Home Day offers a chance for us to recognise the technological and cultural evolutions that have changed our work culture and has allowed for many roles that were once considered ‘office based’ to now be carried out just as effectively from home as in the office.
At YCC, we are proud to have perfected a positive hybrid working culture for our charity’s administrators, coordinators, officers, managers and beyond, who were once ‘office-based’ and have seen plenty of benefits stem from this. We were able to do this by listening to employees’ suggestions, and ensuring that our hardware and software was current and secure, to allow individuals to pick up work from home (and beyond!).
We believe that a positive hybrid working culture allows for more efficient use of time, boosts morale, reduces sick days and parental leave days, promotes well-being and has enhanced productivity, amongst many other things.
Of course, hybrid working means time in our YCC buildings too. And we also have many staff at the charity who don’t have the opportunity to work from home (such as our incredible cohort of alternative provision teachers and mentors, and building services team members). So, for the times when staff are on-site – we have also developed our working spaces to ensure they remain comfortable, secure, and pleasant. This includes work with our Employee Forum representatives, a recent office refurbishment, and a new staff room for down time.
Not only does our commitment to hybrid working show the trust we have in our employees, but it allows people to take charge of their own work loads and work environments, be flexible whenever they need to be, and facilitates a positive work-life balance.
And if that wasn’t enough… it also has great sustainability benefits! For instance, moving from 5 to 4 days in the office per week can reduce that individual’s carbon emissions (and travel costs!) by a significant 20% – and that’s just ONE day of home working!
So tomorrow (and every other day!) YCC will continue to support a hybrid working culture as much as possible.
Within the Kirklees area there is an estimated loss of £444,252 to low-income families toward free fruit, vegetables, and milk via the Healthy Start scheme.
Analysis released in April 2023 by food charity Sustain shows that families across England, Wales and Northern Ireland will miss out on £68 million in payments this year if uptake rates don’t improve.
The Healthy Start scheme provides fruit, vegetables, vitamins, and milk for young families on low incomes, and could help now more than ever due to the current cost of living crisis.
Many families are not claiming, either because of complications in the application process, or simply because they are unaware they are eligible. Local authorities and food partnerships across the country have stepped up efforts to promote the Scheme but are facing difficulties associated with squeezed public health budgets and changing demographics. The Government had hoped to reach 75% of eligible families by the end of March, but only reached 366,000, or 64%.
Research shows that the number of households where children are experiencing food insecurity has nearly doubled in the past year and according to Food Foundation data, families with babies and young children are especially at risk, with 27.3% of households with children under 4 struggling to afford food.
Yorkshire Children’s Centre, a local charity based in Huddersfield that supports disadvantaged children, young people and their families in Kirklees and surrounding areas promotes the Healthy Start Scheme and are keen to encourage individuals and families that are eligible to sign up to the scheme.
Katie Lockwood, YCC Service Manager said “Thriving Kirklees are working hard to reach as many eligible people as possible through a targeted partnership approach, anti-natal fayres and YCC’s Community Champions. Although we have seen a slight increase in uptake there is still a long way to go, and we know that now more than ever, this additional help is needed.”
Here’s more about the scheme:
The Healthy Start scheme is open to children under the age of 4, and women who are at least 10 weeks pregnant. In order to qualify, you must be receiving any of the following:
You, your partner, or your carer get Working Tax Credit run-on only after you have reported you’re working 16 hours or less per week
Child Tax Credit (only if your family’s annual income is £16,190 or less)
Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
Pension Credit (which includes the child addition)
Universal Credit (only if your family’s take-home pay is £408 or less per month from employment)
You will also be eligible for Healthy Start if:
You’re under 18 and pregnant, even if you are not claiming any benefits
You claim income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and are over 10 weeks pregnant
Yorkshire Children’s Centre (YCC), which has its headquarters at Brian Jackson House, Huddersfield has recently been impacted as a result of the redevelopment of Huddersfield train station.
The changes come from the Transpennine Route Upgrade plan. In the plan, Network Rail plans to invest in the railway that runs through Huddersfield to Leeds and beyond, to improve connectivity and help support economic growth in the North of England.
To achieve this expansion, Network Rail have acquired the land next to the station, which was owned by company HD1 and has been used, in part, by YCC for 35 years!
After a long period of planning and consultation, Network Rail officially commenced the redevelopment of the station on 8th May 2023. In doing so, YCC – situated next door to the station – has with immediate effect, lost all access to the rear of their building.
This move means that YCC have zero rights to access the back of their building which was used for deliveries, staff parking, and an entrance for service users amongst many other things. YCC ultimately only own and have a legal right to access the land which the building sits upon – and not an inch more.
The instant effects of this to the charity are huge. Financially, employees, trustees and volunteers have lost access to free parking in the town when delivering services – an extra cost of around £4 per day per individual, which must now be burdened by the charity itself, which is working tirelessly to Improve Lives and Inspire Change throughout the community.
CEO Mark Farmer, said, “Whilst we are in support of improving the local area for communities, by way of both the Huddersfield Blueprint and the Transpennine Route Upgrade, it does seem that the needs of the charity – a huge part of the community – have been overlooked. We now face additional financial and holistic impacts when delivering some services – all whilst in the middle of a cost of living crisis. These billion-pound projects have failed to consider this and to date, we have been unable to reach any level of agreements with the organisations involved to reduce the impact to the charity”.
The goal of both Network Rail and Kirklees Council in these projects is to enhance connectivity. One of Kirklees Council’s 5-pronged approach to the Blueprint is ‘Better Access’. This in part is to be achieved by Huddersfield Rail Station Connections, a project which aims to ‘make it easier for everyone to make their way between the railway station and the places where they live, learn, work or visit in Huddersfield town centre’. Although in doing so, it does seem that YCC, a local employer of over 100 staff, established in Huddersfield for almost 50 years, and operating from Brian Jackson House since 1988, has not been considered.
YCC’s Head of Children and Family Services, Catherine McKenzie, explained, “in terms of service delivery, we have already been impacted by simple things such as access into the building which has affected delivery of our much-needed child safety equipment. This has resulted in precious staff time being utilised to make alterative arrangements rather than spending time supporting families.”
YCC continues to operate within Brian Jackson House including delivering services such as Stay and Play, Child Contact and Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Programme work.
YCC are appealing for any individuals or local organisations who may know of any free parking opportunities/may have a few parking spaces to spare close to the Brian Jackson House building, to please get in touch with YCC to support the delivery of the charity.
To learn more about YCC and the impact it delivers across communities to young people and their families, CLICK HERE
YCC has recently been re-awarded the Quality for Health and Wellbeing award – the accreditation for groups and organisations delivering health and wellbeing services.
The accreditation confirms that YCC has attained the highest service delivery standards possible and continuously seeks opportunities for service improvement.
It was a gruelling application process, with an evidence-based application stage, plus an interview stage, including formal conversations with 18 members of YCC – from staff and trustees to service users and volunteers.
Samantha Latchayya, Leadership Team Coordinator, told us, “It was a rigorous process, so we were extremely pleased to hear that our application was successful. We are really proud to be able to carry the Quality 4 Health and Wellbeing (Level 2) logo for a further two years, and it goes to show that our hard work to implement Health and Wellbeing procedures for staff, volunteers and service users has really paid off!”
Within the report, YCC was particularly commended for:
The use of forums (sustainability, safety, and employee) to ensure needs are identified and views are heard.
A robust HR system
An excellent position for the charity to deliver on local and national health campaigns and to meet local and national needs and priorities
YCC’s clear vision to Improve Lives and Inspire Change.
Successfully operating within a range of formal and informal partnerships which have a significant impact upon service user outcomes (including third sector groups, health and social care, and education provisions).
On behalf of YCC, we would like to send a big thank you to everyone who participated in the application process, from collating evidence and responses, to participating in the live interviews.
And of course, a big congratulations to everyone who was involved in the application process.
To help YCC achieve its 2023 20-point sustainability action plan, the charity has established a Sustainability Forum made up of YCC employees, volunteers, tenants, governors and service users. The forum will meet virtually three times per year to ensure the charity is on target to achieve the action plan, and to work together to deliver the best possible outcomes.
Currently, the forum is made up of the following individuals:
Christine Rhodes (YCC Employee – Community Connections)
Gill Goodswen (YCC Trustee & College Governor)
Jodie Kavanagh (YCC Employee – Thriving Kirklees)
Lucy Martin (YCC Employee – Volunteering)
Rob Edden (YCC Employee – Senior Leadership Team)
Samantha Cashman (YCC Employee – Children & Family Services)
Throughout the month of March, our Building’s Manager Emma Cavanagh was busy coordinating a huge refurbishment of the first floor of Brian Jackson House.
The work, which involved a lot of rewiring, painting and new flooring took place in just three weeks and has transformed the space from what was an outdated working area (last refurbished over 2 decades ago!) to a more connected and modern space.
The project did not go without it’s hurdles, and it was particularly challenging in the first week when the lift broke down! Not great timing as all of the organisation’s huge wooden desks needed to travel down two flights of stairs to be removed from the building! But despite everything, the project was completed and everyone is delighted with the results.
The new, modernised space has seen brand new hot-desks with a new layout in bright and airy rooms. We also now have meeting rooms, break-out rooms and quiet spaces for different working styles, plus an amazing service delivery space where service users can take part in group sessions and 121 sessions.
What’s more, for the first time, staff at Brian Jackson House will soon have access to their own private staff room, allowing for downtime during the working day, which is absolutely essential for our teams who often work in pressurised and challenging situations and deserve a space just for them, where they can relax and reenergise.
Emma wasn’t working alone, and she would like to send out a massive thank you to everyone who supported the project:
“Thank you to everyone on the building’s team for all your help with the project at Brian Jackson House. It’s been a tough couple of weeks and if things could go wrong they have!! However the team really pulled together. There has been blood, sweat & tears!”
I would like to thank Katie for all the cleaning she has done in the project rooms, she has been a superstar and made these rooms look and smell amazing. It wasn’t an easy job with all the dust, wires and random bits everywhere.
I would also like to say thank you to Rebecca, Daniella & Janine for being amazing helping with the moving of all desks, being an absolute super team when the lift broke down and for being there when I’ve had a meltdown!!
Thank you to Tony & James for all the shifting, lifting, painting and moving of everything and anything.
Last but not least I would like to send a special thank you to our volunteer Gareth who has donated so much of his time these past few weeks. He has been brilliant and worked so hard. We really couldn’t have done it without him!”
But of course we all also want to say a big thank you to Emma, who has given her everything to complete this project on time and to a high standard. This project will have a fantastic impact on staff and service users alike, who will all benefit from this new and improved space. We are sure that you will all agree when checking out the photos, just how incredible these new changes are.
Check out the before, during and after photos of the new main hot desk office to see the huge difference that has been made!
As a large charity operating across 5 buildings, we always have refurbishment and renovation projects lined up. If you or an organisation you work with would like to get involved in any volunteer or pro-bono work with YCC relating to decorating or any other building or gardening work, please email [email protected] or call 01484 519988.