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Youth United welcomes Michael Carpenter, Head of Venue Sharing

Youth United welcomes Michael Carpenter, Head of Venue Sharing

31st May 2016

Youth United Foundation is pleased to announce a new member of the team, Michael Carpenter. Based in Manchester, Michael is leading the Venue Sharing pilot project as part of Youth United’s Collaboration Hub for members.

The Venue Sharing project aims to unlock currently under-used facilities and enable youth social action providers (initially uniformed youth groups) to share and access low-cost, high-quality spaces. It has an ambitious vision that brings together technology, youth work and property in an entirely new way as part of our role as a Collaboration Hub for our members. Speaking about his involvement with the project, Michael said, “It’s great to be part of such a huge movement of youth social action and I hope our project can help to make things a little bit easier for our volunteer leaders”.

The project will develop and test a prototype platform that will allow Youth United members to advertise, find and book affordable and appropriate space for their youth groups. The platform will also include venues from outside the Network (e.g. schools and community spaces). This prototype will be developed and tested in Manchester and Cheshire, with the invaluable support, assistance and local knowledge of our friends in the region, Cheshire Youth United and Youth United Manchester, with a view to rapidly scaling the platform across the UK if it proves successful.  This project has been made possible by a National Youth Social Action Fund grant, funded by Pears Foundation and the Cabinet Office. According to Michael, “There is so much good work already being done by Youth United member organisations and I’m really looking forward to learning from the experts who lead groups in venues every week”.

Michael joins us from Living Streets, where he led a range of interesting projects including the development of an app that ‘gamified’ walking to school. This builds on his immersion in digital solutions dating back to creating innovative online learning platforms at First Direct in the 90s. He has a deep understanding of the needs of young people from his days teaching secondary school Maths and from leading young people in social action projects whilst at Groundwork. As a child he was a member of the Boys’ Brigade and he is now the proud parent of both a Brownie and a Cub Scout. Outside work, Michael enjoys cycling and is also a trustee of Manchester Environmental Education Network and Treasurer of Friends of Ashton Park.

The Venue Sharing project will start to work with each Youth United member both centrally and in the pilot regions and will eventually include a senior board of advisors to provide specialist knowledge to inform the project. If you would like to be part of the project or have any questions, please contact Michael Carpenter on 07971870643 or by e-mail Michael.Carpenter@yuf.org.uk.