About Les Isaac, CEO of Ascension Trust
I have been involved in ministry across the City of London, and nationally, for more than 40 years. During this time, I have consistently found that the best initiatives are those that have involved collaboration between local congregations and other partners.
This puts me in mind of my first mission experience in 1982, some 38 years ago. It was in North London. Ten churches got together and put on a mission that ran over three weeks. The result was that many people engaged with the Church and its message of hope. That experience serves to reinforce for me the vital importance of collaborative work between the Church and its partners if we are to truly realise the goal of bringing hope and peace to our streets and communities and especially among young people.
Since then, as the CEO of Ascension Trust, I have led that organisation into developing a culture of effective partnership working. As an organisation, our policy is that we do not execute initiatives by ourselves. Rather, we always seek to work collaboratively with other organisations and groups that have similar interests in the specific area of endeavour that we propose to work in.
Ascension Trust is extremely passionate about tackling serious youth violence and ensuring that young people are given opportunities to develop and use their skills and abilities to thrive in society. Today, I am involved with Synergy because, as an organisation, Synergy espouses the values of collaborative work. Synergy thrives on developing partnerships and is all about sharing the responsibility and the workload.
I am involved because I recognise that Ascension Trust needs effective partners to fulfil its own mandate. As is the case with any other organisation that works in communities, Ascension Trust cannot operate in isolation. The challenges that my organisation faces are much bigger than us and I cannot say it strongly enough, or too many times, that we can only tackle those challenges effectively if we do it through joined-up working with others. I believe my organisation’s ideals can best be achieved in partnership with Synergy.
There are hundreds of initiatives seeking to achieve similar goals and tackle similar challenges. In many cases, however, there is much duplication of the work. The Synergy network has created an opportunity to develop partnerships in order to facilitate us all working together so that we can advance to achieve much greater results for the benefit of young people and communities in general.
Consequently, this website is here to provide much-needed coherence around joined-up thinking and approaches to work for all who are involved in youth work. I am constantly asking questions about who is doing what, and where, with young people. Therefore, the website is a welcome resource because it serves as a one-stop-shop to help people stay informed about youth work initiatives across the City of London and the nation. Here, you will also find invaluable tools and dialogue geared towards capacity building in the area of effective partnership initiatives.
I ask all those who are part of the Synergy network to make full use of the website and to encourage others working with young people to engage and interact with the available resources.