An introduction to Partibridges
Article submitted by Youth Focus NW, Eurodesk UK Partner.
Youth Focus NW is a partner in the Erasmus + funded initiative Partibridges. It is an initiative led by four Universities, three of which have led the Horizon 2020 research project Partispace conducted between 2015 and 2018 about styles and spaces of participation of young people from 15 to 30 years-old in eight European cities.
Partibridges brings together universities and youth associations in four cities: Rennes (France), Eskisehir (Turkey), Lisbon (Portugal) and Manchester (UK). The general objective is to develop closer cooperation between higher education, youth workers and young people with low educational background.
Lauren Barclay, a participant in Partibridges reflects on the recent visit to Rennes:
"On the 1st of November, I arrived at Manchester Airport and met with Liz and Jessie ready to board our flight to Paris. From here, we had an adventure across Paris to make it to our hotel for the night. And by that I mean, no trains were running, so instead of our 30 min journey, we were thrilled to find we had to get a bus, an overground and an underground! 2hr and 30mins later however, we made it. After a bite to eat, and a night’s sleep, the alarm clock was going again. Off to Rennes we went ready for a week of meetings and training on the Partibridges project.
Partibridges is a project I have been part of over the last year or so, which involves myself and 5 other young people working alongside Youth Focus NW and Manchester Met University to produce two different outcomes: a module and a video. Alongside this, we work as part of a bigger team with country teams from France, Turkey and Portugal. The project is a European Union Erasmus+ initiative.
Over the past months, the teams have been creating modules for degree/equivalents to teach about positive youth participation. Here in the UK, Manchester Metropolitan University has worked alongside us and Youth Focus NW to learn what makes participation not only productive and proactive but a positive experience for all involved. Our module is part of a youth work postgraduate at Manchester Metropolitan, and from January 2020 it will be one of the choices offered to those studying on the postgrad Youth Work course.
Created via co-production, the module contains elements such as what makes a good youth worker, talking about politics, mental health and sexuality, and also includes opportunities to visit positive examples of youth work across Greater Manchester. Of course, each country's module was very different, for Portugal, the young people were wanting to participate in the politics and decision making around fishing in their town, something that personally affected them. Despite this, each of the modules shared common values and themes and this was one of the elements reflected and discussed upon during our time there.
From visits to French youth groups initiatives and making carrot cake, to playing Pictionary with an 88-year-old Portuguese fisherman who couldn't speak English, to formal training in a variety of things, the week was busy, exhausting but positive. As well as learning and sharing of ideas, we all bonded as one team. And I think we can all confidently say we came home having gained and making friendships."