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Charities must evolve to stay relevant

In June 1844, a young man met with his colleagues in an upstairs room of a drapery store just a few yards from St Paul's Cathedral in London. That young man was Sir George Williams and the meeting resulted in the formation of the YMCA.

Build communities to tackle knife crime

Over the past few weeks YMCA has been approached by a number of different media outlets asking the same question: Is the rise in knife crime among young people due to youth service cuts?

Let's adapt our language to 'tell it like it is'

At a recent United Nations meeting, 15-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg said: "We have to speak clearly no matter how uncomfortable it may be…You are not mature enough to tell it like it is - even that burden you leave to us children."

Time for an end to 'children at risk' headlines

Have I Got News for You has a game based on guessing missing words in headlines. Perusing the papers recently, I noticed a headline: "X is putting children at risk, Xs say". Over the next few days, I read several other articles which this headline would have suited. Before I fill in the gaps, spend a few seconds thinking of a few words that might fit - it won't be hard.

LGA study is basis for fairer funding debate

Having worked at a senior level in a shire county (Somerset), a large city (Birmingham), and a medium-sized unitary (Dudley), I didn't need research to tell me that they are all very different.

We need a broad definition of children in need

When the government announced its review of children in need, a legal definition of children supported by social care who have safeguarding and welfare needs, we hoped it would have a wide remit and seek to understand how well these children's needs are being met.

Will new ministers have any new ideas?

It is still too early to offer any well-informed predictions of what to expect from new Education Secretary Damian Hinds and his ministers at the Department for Education.

Children Act well-intentioned duty now unrealistic

Often while walking between meetings my mind wanders back to the now familiar place it likes to pause: how to reconcile rising demand and reducing resource with high expectations that local authorities can and will minimise error in our child protection system.

Co-production vital across child services

The first session of this year's Conservative Party conference is set to focus on education, housing and political participation. All three policy issues have, in recent years, under the same party's watch, produced deep fissures of concern, pushing many young people to the margins and causing anxiety, frustration and sometimes alienation. At the heart of this lies a dramatic deterioration in the subjective emotional wellbeing of children and young people, who are struggling to find out where they fit in the modern world. The Children's Society Good Childhood report 2017 is testament to that.

Election will determine children's future

It may be a "snap" general election, but it would be a stretch to describe it as a shock - many people had expected one to follow even more swiftly from the political upheavals of last summer.

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