Working with a coach in a Solidarity Project

Group of three young people sitting at table with tablet, talking about project

Unsure about the topic you’ve chosen to cover in your Solidarity Project? We’ve got your back: young people can opt for the guidance of a coach while running their own projects.

If you are aged 18-30 and planning to apply for Solidarity Projects funding in the next deadline on 1 October, your group are not expected to have extensive knowledge on the field or issue to be tackled by your project. The most important aspects in your application are the ideas and your group’s drive for positive action and change in your local community. 

However, we know it can be intimidating addressing real problems without much experience. The coach is meant to empower young people by offering field-specific knowledge and a tailored support that the group finds the most useful. 

Keep reading to find out more about the role and see some real examples of coaches in UK-based Solidarity Projects:

The coach’s role

The coach should be selected by the youth group depending on the addressed subjects in the project or areas where project support is needed. The support of a coach varies from field specific knowledge, such as professional support in child protection, refugee action or environmental science, to broader assistance and guidance like planning of project implementation and overseeing project budget. 

You can have multiple coaches with expertise in different areas if required, but a coach cannot be a member of the group. The coach can, therefore, be over 30 years old. The contributed costs for one or multiple coaches are provided for a maximum of 12 days per project.

Real examples

Action for Local Youth Voice Empowerment UK (ALYVE UK) is a Scottish charity and a Solidarity Project. It aims to advocate for and support local youth forums across the UK by assessing current practices, developing recommendations for local authorities, and providing small grants to support the development of such groups within local communities.

Huw Sherrard, chair of ALYVE UK, shared with us how the group of young people work with coaches as part of their Solidarity Project:

“ALYVE UK has been supported by two coaches, who each worked with us for a day. Rather than providing overall guidance for our time as a Solidarity Project, they both contributed their expertise in relation to having conducted similar research in the same field previously (i.e., local authorities' youth participatory practices in Scotland).” 

“This was incredibly helpful, allowing us to spot potential issues ahead of time and improve our plans for implementing our activities!”, Huw added.

“This was incredibly helpful, allowing us to spot potential issues ahead of time and improve our plans for implementing our activities!”.

There are more projects currently funded in the UK that have coaches working on Solidarity Projects. Take a look at the list below to have an idea of the possibilities you could explore:

  • A project will have two coaches with experience in youth work. Both will be involved in preparing the project, supporting planning and giving advice on teamwork.
  • A media professional will assist with content creation, including video production, editing and distribution.
  • A poet and youth coach will develop arts and writing activities for children and young people to promote community cohesion and solidarity.
  • A coach will help a project to engage with youth who have experienced care, educating the team on the barriers these young people face, and on how they can get involved and help.
  • A coach will assist with the development of an inclusion project, offering careers guidance and informal learning in social enterprise. Group leaders will also benefit from leadership guidance.

Will your group benefit by having a coach?

Involving a coach might assure the continuity of your project implementation by supporting some of the technical aspects of the project. The coach can be involved in different stages of the project lifecycle (preparation, implementation, evaluation). At the same time, involving a coach is optional, although it is often a useful addition to the project. 

Whether you choose to have a coach or not, we encourage you to stand out by submitting your project application on the next funding deadline (1 October 2020, 11am UK time). 

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