Solent Youth Action (SYA) empowers disadvantaged young people to develop as individuals and enjoy new challenges through volunteering and social action whilst making a positive contribution to the community. This is achieved by providing young people with access to good quality volunteering, and social opportunities and supporting them to realise their own projects and ideas. SYA meets its aim through focusing its work on young people to initiatives that address community needs and, in benefiting others, provide them with a sense of citizenship and community responsibility. Our work currently is focussed on Southampton, Eastleigh and Havant. We have a high local profile and are recognised as a credible voice for young people and for our activities within the community. Our activities prepare young people for life and work, by combining and strengthening volunteering and social action to links to employment, education and training. Our focus is to generate in young people a sense of responsibility and ownership for their projects and to support them to progress.
SYA encourages the involvement of young people from all sections of the community (especially those who are at risk of social exclusion through disability, mental health issues and economic deprivation) and ensure that all have equal opportunity to participate regardless of gender, religious and ethnic background, disability or sexual preference (or any other factor that may result in discrimination and prejudice).
Our objectives are:
- To foster and develop increased learning and development opportunities for young people by encouraging and supporting them to contribute, steer initiatives and lead their own youth-led projects.
- To build strong relationships with organisations that share our aims, thereby further increasing the capacity of young people to build on their skills and aptitudes for their own personal growth and their community’s long term success and development
- To generate in young people a sense of responsibility and ownership for the actions they undertake and to develop their citizenship and involvement in their communities.
SYA is community focussed, working in partnership with a wide range of diverse organisations to increase the integration of young people within the community. Through volunteering and youth led projects our services reflect the identified needs with the community and are predominantly based on 3 tenets:
- Intergenerational – Through intergenerational practice SYA aims to bring people together in purposeful, mutually beneficial activities which promote greater understanding and respect between generations and contributes to building more cohesive communities. Intergenerational activities build on the positive resources that the young, older and middle generations have to offer each other and are an effective way to address issues important to our community. SYA Intergenerational initiatives fall into three categories, supporting each other, working together to address community issues, and learning together.
- Active Citizenship – SYA embraces the principles of Active Citizenship and this philosophy is integral to all our work. Young people are encouraged and supported to involve themselves within the community and engage in volunteering. All projects are youth led, gaining inspiration from the young people themselves and through service delivery young people learnunderstand each other’s differences and to respect one another.
- Social Action – SYA encourages social action supporting young people to work together to effect change both in their lives and within the community, raising funds for issues they feel passionate about and organising practical tasks.