Earlier today we held our annual OnSide Conference at Bolton Lads and Girls Club (BLGC) – a fitting location as the success of the OnSide network has been made possible thanks to the model of BLGC.
Onside founder and former Chairman of BLGC, Bill Holroyd deemed the event a ‘huge success’ thanks to the fantastic turn-out and effort put in by all staff and attendees.
Young people from The Factory and Mahdlo Youth Zones were on-hand to present their thoughts and feelings to the board members of each Youth Zone which displayed a real sense of appreciation to the watching audience who had made the OnSide mission a success to date.
Following the formal presentations, a number of round-table discussions took place from workshops titled, ‘Starting out as a new Youth Zone’ and ‘Fundraising’ to Branding and Communications’ and ‘Youth Zones and the public sector’. These enabled all board members and the other distinguished guests to share best practice and discuss their thoughts and plans which were shared for the benefit of the network.
Terry Flanagan, Chairman of Mahdlo Youth Zone commented on the success of the day: “The young people were great. They shared their outstanding case study work and it displayed the immense job our Youth Zones our doing. Our networks experience, drive and energy is huge and the more we can connect that up like today, the better.”
Alice Davey, General Manager at The Way Youth Zone which is set to open in early 2016 thought the event was a huge benefit to her having been able to network with individuals who had been in the same situation as her prior to opening.
She said: “Today has been inspirational. Being new in a new role, it has been great to meet everyone from the network. To hear the experiences other people have had developing a Youth Zone from the start as well as getting it all done on time for the opening of their Youth Zone, was fantastic.”
We also had a special video appearance from Oldham Councillor Jim McMahon. Stay tuned for post-event video content of a great day next week.