Toi Ora is an NGO that aims to inspire positive mental health and wellbeing through the use of the arts and creative process. It is through this lens that the research has been carried out. As a community initiative, the research project has focused on collecting information at the grassroots level, and the voice of young people and the community. We have used this to provide focus and boundaries to what could become a very wide brief. We have also explored the organisations, businesses, and people working with young people in West Auckland and attempted to map that ecology around the key themes and challenges faced by young people in the community. Alongside this, we have explored the use of the Collective Impact Framework in other communities to achieve outcomes for young people.
This report contains a summary discussion of the research findings, and shares the information and evidence we have collected to support the findings and discussion. We also refer to research and work done by other organizations that compliments and supports our own findings, for example the Auckland Council’s Child and Youth Alcohol and Drug teams West Auckland Youth Research project. We explore the key themes that have emerged from the focus groups and interviews, and have mapped the organizational and service environment around three of those themes: Family, Education, and Health and Wellbeing.
We have identified the limitations of our research and process, some of which are due to the nature of community based initiatives, and some of which are due to the relationships we were able to establish and build upon through this project. We found across the course of the research that we were collecting information predominantly around those young people in West Auckland that had been identified as being at risk and or vulnerable. This occurred naturally through the access to people (youth and adult) for focus groups and interviews, and was further streamlined through the identification of positive work happening in and between organisations in West Auckland. We found that there is already some very successful and positive work happening within organisations, and between organisations. Much of this work is being driven by the passionate people in the right positions within their organisations.
We have used a case study of the West Auckland Alternative Education Consortium led work to show how the framework could help improve outcomes for young people they work with, and those working with those young people.
– Focus of the research narrowed to young people identified as being at risk or vulnerable, particularly in the Henderson Massey area.
– Five key themes identified by the community:
o Family – gaps in the support provided by families for young people, despite strong connections to family.
o Education – the importance of education as more than just a place for academic learning.
o Safety – sense of safety in the community and personal safety due to self-identity.
o Health and Wellbeing – mental and physical health challenges for young people – education, early identification.
o Co-ordination of resource that exist already to prevent overlaps and reduce gaps.
o Income – lack of income available to them impacts on many of the outcomes above and the ability for young people to access services, supports and resources.
– There is already some very positive collaborative work happening in West Auckland aimed at improving outcomes for young people, and this is largely driven by passionate people in the right organisational positions.