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May 20th, 2011

Aspire to more…

Today the Princes Trust released a new report about young people which is particularly interesting in relation to the correlation between ‘poor’ young people and lack of aspiration and conversely those young people that may be more ‘well off’ and higher aspirations. Here is a link to the paper. It is worth a read.

We have been talking about these issues at the Canaan Project for ages. Aspiration is one of the key needs that we have identified in our area. One of the difficulties we face is that it is very difficult to identify aspiration and therefore very difficult to measure an increase of it. It is best measured, in our experience, by having people in place (in our case youth workers both staff and volunteers) that can enable young people to bench mark and reflect on their journey to see and point out aspiration development. This is time consuming and potentially difficult to understand in our results driven consumer culture, but none the less the most successful way we have found of helping young people develop aspiration.

The report was very strong on aspirations in relation to employment. At the Canaan Project we take a slightly wider view of aspiration. As well as aspiring for employment and career progression we encourage young people to aspire to such things as safety, health and good relationships. We also encourage them to not only aspire for themselves but for their friends, families and communities. Our hope is for the young people we work with to flourish in every area of their lives and to contribute to flourishing communities.