Ambition 2016 Annual Conference

Interactive Seminar Summaries

Ambition 2016
7-8 November
DoubleTree by Hilton Milton Keynes

In response to participants’ request for greater interactivity and the chance to talk about their experiences, we have increased the number and enhanced the format of the Interactive Seminars. Participants will be able to attend one in the morning, and one in the afternoon, subject to registration and availability.


Sports and Recreation

Leigh Thompson from the Sport and Recreation Alliance will lead an insightful and explorative discussion on how we can support the priorities in the Sport England strategy, Towards an Active Nation. Local authorities were cited as pivotal in the successful deliverables outlined in the original government Sporting Futures strategy. This combined with many of our VCS members delivering successful sport and physical activity programmes, and the extension of Sport England’s remit from age five, will provide a unique opportunity for members to share ideas and generate potential collaborative partnerships during the seminar. For further reading, please see the Sport England Strategy, towards an active nation here or to read Ambition's summary, click here.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Mental health problems are more likely to be missed in young people than in any other age-group. More than 55% of children and young people with mental health issues do not access services in relation to their mental health needs; growing to 64% for young people aged 16-24. Significantly, 75% of mental illness in adult life (excluding dementia) starts during adolescence. Barbara Rayment Chief Executive of Youth Access will lead this seminar providing insight into the positive impact of youth information, advice and counselling services (YIACS) and the current context in which they are operating. We will also explore the opportunities and challenges for VCS organisations supporting workers to identify emerging mental health problems and to develop solutions for supporting children and young people to access services they need at an early stage. For further information, read A foot in the door, VCS Providers’ view of CAMHS transformation.

Social Action and NCS

The implementation of the proposed National Citizen Service Bill is designed to strengthen links between young people and schools, local governments and central governments to promote participation in the programme. To achieve the increased targets of 360,000 places by 2021, it is imperative more local partners are engaged in delivery of the programme. Johnny Soutan and John Kurubo from vInspired will lead this interactive seminar exploring the perceived barriers to delivering NCS and explore potential solutions to the challenges.

Child Sexual Exploitation

The findings of a report that was produced as a result of joint inspections of local services in five areas, demonstrated that Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a problem that can be tackled sensitively and effectively. Time to Listen found that significant improvements have been made over the last two years observing, where there was strong leadership, facilitating effective multi-agency collaboration, successful plans were implemented to protect vulnerable children and young people. However, the report also emphasised there were still agencies and professionals who needed to improve their response to CSE. Simone Taylor from Brook will lead this interactive seminar, with contributions from the Home Office, exploring how we can learn from and build on these improvements reinforced by strategies to support prevention programmes to help young people who are at risk of sexual exploitation. For further reading, please see the Time to Listen report.

Prevent Agenda

Young people are at the greatest risk of being radicalised and recruited as terrorists. The Prevent agenda was implemented to identify extremism early and to stop it progressing to terrorism or supporting terrorism. However, this has been controversial and complicated with the National Union of Teachers voting to reject the Prevent strategy and the prohibitive cost implications on VCS organisations threatening the delivery of critical services to ensure adequate measures are adhered to if they have any potential terrorism concerns. This seminar will explore the strategies implemented to mitigate the issues which organisations, agencies and local authorities face in supporting the Prevent strategy. Follow this link to read the Prevent Strategy (to be reviewed imminently).

Youth Justice

The recommendations set out in the Youth Justice Review is set to have far reaching implications of how we support young people who have offended or are at risk of offending. The interim report summarised a number of practical examples of how local authorities are integrating youth offending services with wider youth services. The Youth Justice Board will facilitate an interactive seminar exploring preventative and diversionary strategies. Follow this link to read the interim report.

Sign up for our newsletter