A Case analysis of Somerset Rural Youth Project

The world today is experiencing a harsh economic climate. There are a variety of economic challenges today, which raises concerns about the future economic health of the world. Among the economic challenges, the youth are as well among the most affected, as their states have not effectively addressed the issues of education, training, and employment for them, considering they are the future generation. The youth in the rural areas have fewer opportunities compared to their counterparts in the urban areas. This is because the state does not give the youth in rural areas the attention and concern they deserve. The shortcomings of governments in addressing the plight of the youth has seen different organizations, as well as individuals take the initiative of addressing youth employment, education, and training concerns, especially in the rural areas. All this is to supplement government efforts, which seem to be inadequate in addressing these issues.

In England, the “Somerset Rural Youth Project (SRYP),” a registered, charitable rural organization, serves the purpose of supplementing government efforts in addressing different issues that face the youth in the rural areas. This project is the third biggest rural youth project in the UK, and is dedicated to ensuring youth empowerment in the rural areas (“Commission for Rural Communities” 2012). This youth project is highly diversified as it offers different services to the youth in isolated rural areas. Its partnership with the the Statutory Youth Service and other agencies helps it support its provision of an integrated youth provision in the whole rural county (“East Huntspill Parish Council” 2012). The SRYP is mainly concerned with the provision of advice, information, and guidance about different important issues such as employment, health, budgeting, sports, and training, among others. This is done through activities such as peer education, workshops, and volunteer services, among others. Support is given for the needy youth to pursue their educational needs, get employment, or learn different skills through the Rural Skills Workshop owned by SRYP. This project also values innovation and testing for its participants (“Somerset Rural Youth Project”).

At SRYP, quality is a priority, and so quality maintenance is integrated in the project’s business strategy. The business strategy of SRYP is long-term and comprises different strategies to ensure that the objectives and goals of the project are met, and are viable and effective. In order to ensure value in its activities, the business plan of SRYP focuses on beating competition in the area by increasing the effectiveness of the project. The commissioning of Exeter University to conduct a longitudinal research focusing on the aspirations of the youth is a commendable strategy, aimed at putting the project in the limelight as a leader in charity. This study helps SRYP to identify the needs of the youth, and come up with activities, which address the identified needs of the youth. Need-based activities are commendable as they serve the purpose and needs of the youth, thus increasing the quality of the project (“BQF” 2012).

Secondly, the move to gain a C2E accreditation is a move aimed at emphasizing the project’s commitment to quality. With a C2E accreditation, an organization shows its support for equality practice and its commitment to quality (“C2E” 2012).This way, the reputation of the project will be a positive one, enough to increase the trust of its donors and partners, thus increasing the possibility of more funding from its donors and partners.

Thirdly, by hiring a Business Development Manager, the project will have climbed a notch higher in its management. In fact, only effective management will propel the achievement of its goals and objectives. Therefore, a Business Development Manager will manage the project well, ensuring continued commitment to quality, and effectiveness of the programmes. Finally, the launching of a training programme for SRYP’s youth workers will help them participate positively to the strategic approach to the project’s programmes. Workers are the main forces behind the success of any organization. Therefore, training workers helps raise the quality standards of an organization. This is therefore a good strategy for SRYP in ensuring quality in its activities (“BQF” 2012).

Generally, the success story of SRYP is quite encouraging and inspirational. However, it seems that there are many challenges lying ahead of SRYP future operations. First, the SRYP’s financial, operational, and political systems cannot be mainstreamed as the standard practice. Although these systems have proved to be effective in the operation of SRYP, these cannot be utilized by other organizations since they do not measure up to the global standards. There is fear that if SRYP was to close down, most of its projects, such as the Moped Loan Scheme, cannot be adopted by other organizations despite the fact that they were cost-effective and successful. Failure to adopt global standards in its objectives also limits SRYP access to global funding. This incompatibility is a challenge to both the present and future of SRYP (“BQF” 2012).

The imbalance in allocation of time for project activities and funding process is quite a challenge. A major concern of SRYP is to ensure the continuity of its programmes. This requires commitment and time for all its participants. However, the youth workers in SRYP spend a bigger part of their time writing proposals seeking funding from donors. This also includes writing reports for the funding bodies on the progress of the projects, as well as writing new proposals to call for funding from new donors and partners. This is a considerable time that they could have used in the activities of the project, and getting closer to the youth they deal with. This in turn could have a negative influence on the productivity and effectiveness of the project.

The attention and great dedication that SRYP gives to the achievement of its goals and objectives is quite detrimental, as this limits innovation. When this project pays close attention and commits only to its objectives and goals, it lacks the freedom to explore newer ideas. This therefore has limited its innovation capabilities. Most funding organizations consider innovation as paramount to any youth projects. This lack of innovativeness on the side of SRYP, could therefore limit its donor funding, because they do not emphasize innovation in their policies (“BQF” 2012).

Funding continues to be a problem for SRYP. The programmes and activities conducted by SYPR need finances in order for them to be effective and viable. However, given the current difficult economic environment, SRYP cannot afford to raise alone all the amount of finances needed to run their projects. This leads them to solicit funding from donors and partners, who falling in the harsh economic times, may not give enough to sustain SRYP projects. With the lack of hope in the future of world economy, it is more likely that funding for SRYP will remain a great challenge, even in the future. Nonetheless, SRYP manages to acquire money for its programmes and maintain its good practice. Most of the policy and financial constraints experienced by SRYP are beyond its control and the control of their partners (“BQF” 2012).

SRYP’s journey to excellence though faced with challenges, need to proceed and bear fruit. The youth workers in SRYP are dedicated and committed to delivering good results for the project; however, there is more to results. They need to realize and understand the dynamics of the world economy, and therefore learn how to effectively manage all the little resources they have. This management element in the youth workers should be the responsibility of SRYP through training sessions for the workers. Investment in this course is worthwhile, as it will result in saving and good management of resources, therefore no resources put to waste.

For achievement of more funding, SRYP needs to strategize in order to attract donors and funding organizations. This could be through adjustment of its policies to meet the requirements of most donor bodies. More funding will boost the quality of SRYP’s services. There is also need for SRYP to embrace more innovation, which it lacks. If SRYP exhibits high innovation, this will guarantee it more donor advantages, as it is a condition for most donor organizations.  Innovation also ensures that diversity and high quality services are provided. Therefore, SRYP should avoid concentrating solely on its goals and objectives, and instead welcome different other ideas. This will be a commendable step in the journey to excellence.

Finally, SRYP needs to align its objectives with the global community standards. SRYP has not synchronized its policies and objectives to the global standards. This specificity of SRYP’s objectives then deters it from getting involved with other global organizations, as its objectives are particularistic. Objectives based on global standards can as well attract international donors, which is beneficial to an organization. Therefore, SRYP needs to integrate international resources into its operations as quality assessment is currently based on global standards as opposed to national standards alone.




Works Cited

“BQF” 2012 British Quality Foundation, Retrieved 19 November 2012,


“C2E” 2012 C2E Equality Standard, Retrieved 19 November 2012,


“Commission for Rural Communities” 2012 Rural Youth Projects, The

Somerset Rural Youth Project. Retrieved 19 November 2012, <>

“East Huntspill Parish Council” 2012 Somerset Rural Youth Project. Retrieved 19 November

2012, <>

“Somerset Rural Youth Project” nd. Retrieved 19 November 2012,




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