What would make Young Lambeth Cooperative a brand young people want to be part of?
Lambeth is transforming into the Cooperative Council, which means giving the community more influence and control over the services that they use. The Young Lambeth cooperative is part of this, and represents a new way of commissioning services for young people, ensuring they are truly responsive to local needs. The YLC will be an organisation, a separate legal entity from the council which will be set up next year. It will be a membership organisation which will be run and owned by its members which are likely to include young people, the wider community, providers as well as professionals working with young people. Funding will be devolved from the council to the Young Lambeth Cooperative so they can determine the way budgets are spent in certain areas that affect young people. To begin with this will be in specific areas, such as certain play and youth services that are currently delivered and commissioned by the council. If this approach is successful then further areas will be added. The YLC is also able to seek funding from sources outside the council and build up its remit to ensure it is sustainable and here for the long term.
This is an important step for the council, as it will be the first time a community led group will be directly responsible for deciding what services are commissioned, including a key role and ownership for young people. A successful programme of engaging the community is already underway and a large number of young people, local residents and partners (1500) have registered an interest in getting involved. A young peoples working group is established and a wider community group is in development as it is vital that the YLC is driven by its members.
The main challenge is to improve the lives of young people by providing young people and wider community with control and ownership of funding in order to ensure that services for young people are relevant and responsive to local need. In order for the YLC to be successful its need to consider:
Communications – What is the message, what will the coop do and how can this be presented? How can we communicate this message to as diverse a group as possible? How can we communicate quickly and in different ways with the YLC members?
Recruitment – How do we recruit young people and people interested in young peoples service? How do we strike the right balance between different groups of people? What incentives are there to join? How do we ensure the YLC js seen as relevant for all ages and not just young people?
Responsiveness – How can the Cooperative remain responsive to short term needs?
Branding – What look and feel do we want for the YLC? What type of online presence does it need?