The Synergy Network is a combined effort, which encourages collaboration and working together. We believe that the impact of combined skills and power will enable us to make an impact. This Network is about successful partnership and we recognise that communications are key to any success. We believe that this website will play a vital role in connecting youthwork practitioners, developing connections and building synergy.
This online resource aims to bring together a larger cohort of professionals, practitioners and policy shapers from various organisations to interact and engage as they work to address the rise of serious violence in the society. Part of this work involves seeking to influence the debate as well as to receive the views of young people and their families.
The Synergy Network believes that youthwork practitioners have an invaluable role to play in addressing serious youth violence in this country, alongside other actors such as Government, the Church, the police, the health service in the much-vaunted public health approach. There is little doubt that youthwork practitioners are able to engage with young people on a one-to-one basis, in places and spaces that the young people find safe and affirming. In doing so, they have the confidence and trust of those who are vulnerable and susceptible to those who would like to entice them into gangs and a life of crime.
Youthwork practitioners do a sterling effort to promote young people’s personal and social development and enable them to have a voice, influence and place in society. Additionally, they work with them to build their resilience and character and give young people the confidence and life skills they need to live, learn, work and achieve. The Synergy Network website can provide the opportunity for youth work practitioners to share skills and knowledge, network and collaborate and build a community of practitioners across the country, supporting and encouraging engagement, strengthening relationships. The website could also help with youth activism, with youth practitioners working together trying to solve problems, raise awareness and support.
Youthwork offers young people safe spaces to explore their identity, experience decision-making, increase their confidence, develop inter-personal skills and think through the consequences of their actions. This leads to better informed choices, changes in activity and improved outcomes for young people. Youthwork focuses on personal and social development – the skills and attributes of young people – rather than to ‘fix a problem’. It is an educational process that engages with young people in a curriculum that deepens a young person’s understanding of themselves, their community and the world in which they live and supports them to proactively bring about positive changes. Youth work is the transformational, harnessing skills of young people not fulfilled by formal education.