The Thames Path and Voluntary Youth Services

Beth Parker of the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services is walking the Thames path from leafy Gloucestershire right through to the East end of London. She is setting out this Thursday and aims to meet meet with/walk with youth projects, MPs, provision managers etc along the way promoting the variety of youth work done and challenging the impending cuts.
A fuller picture of what you can do and how you can help is in the extended entry and this is the itinerary: Route_simple thames pathway.xlsx


I am sending you this email with a plea for help. As you may know, my colleague Beth Parker is walking the Thames Walk (184 miles) to raise awareness of the work that NCVYS members do and to encourage members to ‘go beyond their comfort zone’ and do things differently. The walk starts the day after the spending review has been announced and will finish just before the NCVYS AGM.
The potential of this as a coordinated campaign are phenomenal. We can use it to illustrate the diverse nature of youth provision from leafy Gloucestershire to the East End of London and how it copes (or not) with the impact of the spending cuts. We therefore hope that you will support us.
This is what we are doing to promote and publicise the walk:
1) We have secured the support of the national press with Children & Young People Now, Third Sector Magazine and The Guardian all interested. The editor of CYPN, Ravi Chandiramani, will walk with Beth for a day.
2) We are talking to the Media Trust to ensure that there is a video diary of Beth’s walk and the youth projects that she meets during her walk.
3) We are writing to every MP whose constituency the walk passes through, inviting them to meet Beth and talk about youth provision in their constituency. The list of MPs is quite interesting and includes Prime Minister David Cameron, Theresa May, Vince Cable, Justine Greening, Simon Hughes and Stephen Timms.
4) We will alert the local papers – giving local groups an opportunity to showcase what they do.
5) We will compile profile of Big Society in local action and post them on the Big Society Network’s website
6) We will hand the video diary to Children’s Minister Tim Loughton when he addresses the NCVYS annual conference on 3 November.
Here is where we need your help:
1) We need local youth and community groups to engage with this initiative. It would be good if local young people and volunteers could join Beth en route, be interviewed and talk about their groups and projects. Given the focus of the campaign, it would be particularly great if we can show case inventive and enterprising ways of doing youth work.
2) We need logistical support. In exchange of showcasing the work of members and raising money for their work, Beth needs cups of tea and a bed every night. Is this something that you can help with?
3) We need to have the word spread to your network and encourage people to donate some money, even if it is just a small amount.
And finally it would be really powerful if we get as many chief executives walking along as possible, even if only for a couple of hours.