Someone once asked me “would you like to be 16 again?” I jumped at the chance thinking how cool it would be to be young again and then I realised being 16 in 2014 is actually quite difficult. I mean let’s be honest young people go through so many challenges these days from education to employment; from family and friends to boyfriends and girlfriends and from boredom to drugs and alcohol. This was one of the reasons I decided to set up SLYNCS – to give young people a different outlook on life and to show them they can make a difference. As you go around the website please keep this in mind; also keep in mind our original mission statement which even though it no longer exists as a formality, it will always be at the heart of everything we do: “An organisation built on the foundations that young people deserve an opportunity to be heard, learn new skills and discover the world, all whilst having fun!”
Jaffer Ali Hussain, Founder and Chief Executive
SLYNCS is the brainchild of the founder Jaffer Ali Hussain. After many years of working across the country for a range of organisations, Jaffer was drawn back to Blackburn and set about supporting local young people by setting up an organisation which focused on the development of key life skills whilst at the same time improving the local community. For many years Jaffer thought of this idea but it wasn’t until the summer of 2013 when Jaffer met a young man and was encouraged and convinced to set up the organisation. Together with experience in youth work and business, the co – founders went on a journey recruiting other like minded people who could help the dream that Jaffer had into a reality!
SLYNCS can trace its origins back to the Youth 4 U Forum (which you’ll learn about later!) and it was because of this forum and the young people who attended this forum between 2011 – 2013 that got so many stakeholders interested in the work being developed by Jaffer and his team. This interest led to the development of other forums across Blackburn and also led to the creation of a single organisation that would run these forums – SLYNCS!
Youth work, public speaking, residentials – these were all things that Jaffer could do but when it came to numbers and business ideas Jaffer ran a mile! Thankfully this is where support from the local community came in and with their support, SLYNCS went from strength to strength. Throughout 2014, the organisation operated purely as voluntary organisation and towards the end of that year, Jaffer managed to bring in significant funding allowing the organisation to begin operating financially! Jaffer used the process of playing on his strengths whilst at the same continuously developing skills and qualities that he wanted to be better at and this has become a key component of the way the organisation works with young people, the local community and our staff and volunteers.
For many years Jaffer was interested in how young people connect themselves to other parts of society including the local community. In addition he was interested in the power of networking and what impact this could have on a person’s life. SLYNCS was established to ensure that young people strengthen their links with their local communities, with specialists who can help make their projects become reality and with networks with whom they can share their experiences. On behalf of Jaffer, we would like extend a big hello and welcome you to SLYNCS!