Youth Hub Manager takes part in Best Practice Exchange visit to Hamburg, Germany
In September 2012, key health, education and social care workers from statutory bodies and charities from Chicago in the US and Birmingham, UK visited Hamburg in Germany for 10 days for a Best practice exchange trip. This trip happens every year with key delegates from this sector, with each country taking it in turns to host. This year, Marsha Blake, Prevention Manager at St Basils Youth Hub attended as part of the delegation from Adults and Communities. The aim of the trip is to learn from other organisations in Europe and America, to see what policy and frameworks they work within and how they try to find solutions to help the children, young people and families in their care. Marsha had 4 specific priorities in terms of what she wanted to learn in taking part in the visit: “I wanted to share good practice and knowledge, see issues and topics from an international point of view, indentify strengths and weaknesses in different approaches and Identify best practice” Trip highlights included a visit to “Das Bunte Haus fur Familien and ihre Kinder” (The Colour House for Families and their Children), a tour around housing estate “Nueallermohe-Ost”, established in the late 1980’s in a modern kind of town planning exercise, visiting “Stifling Alsterdorf” to discuss Socially Inclusive Neighbourhoods, visiting local social enterprises, a presentation on key demographics of young people in Hamburg, visiting the Berlin parliament and the US Consulate in Hamburg (pictured) and learning about the Hamburg equivalent to St Basils Schools, Training and Mentoring Service. Janti Champaneri OBE who fed back on behalf of the British delegation said: “The time we spent in Hamburg was excellent and we are still reflecting and absorbing all the things we saw and experienced there. We are also still trying to make the comparisons of how things differ in our 3 countries. This is the beauty of the exchange programme in that the learning continues long after the event. The ten days were filled with excitement as we were presented new concepts with the usual challenges still in the background for us all. I am sure the contacts we have made over this period will mean we can network, sharing how each country tackles these challenges, in bettering the services for people and their carers”. Marsha said: "I found this exchange offered me a rich experience, that enabled me to see first hand how issues such as homelessness, children's in care and government policies affect the lives of different communities within Hamburg and I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to participate". "I am also happy that Birmingham has confirmed its continued involvement in the exchange programme and have confirmed that they will be hosting the 2013 exchange here in sunny ol' Birmingham”. The delegation will be visiting Birmingham next September to hear about the work undertaken by the voluntary sector and will be visiting some of St Basils accommodation projects during their visit next year". Added October 2012



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