Isn’t it incredible how much energy is created when you fill a room with people who share a common commitment? Last week London Youth hosted an event for current Quality Mark holders. We brought together around 60 staff from different member organisations who had worked on it, with funders and supporters of quality standards within youth work. John Lyon’s Charity were well represented as were many of the clubs they fund such as Afghan Association Paiwand, Wac Arts and Ignite Trust to name just a few. I also enjoyed seeing clubs who have achieved gold or silver thanking staff from the City Bridge Trust for the unrestricted funding they’ve received as a result.
It was an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the individuals who put in so many hours and the organisations who despite the challenging environment we all work in, have prioritised achieving the London Youth Quality Mark and made a commitment to evidencing and delivering quality youth work.
So why do quality standards matter? At the event Andrew Stebbings, Chief Executive of John Lyon’s Charity, formally launched the independent evaluation of the London Youth Quality Mark. The evaluation found that:
- 86% of clubs agreed that the Quality Mark had helped encourage a culture of continuous improvement in the organisation and 75% said it had helped them motivate staff and volunteers
- 64% of youth clubs with a Quality Mark said it improved their ability to generate funding and increased their influence on local stakeholders. And many clubs agreed that even where the accreditation was not the deciding factor it was still useful in obtaining the extra funding.
- One senior youth worker described how having achieved the Quality Mark helped them quickly and successfully do due diligence for a grant of £38,000 from a local funder
To me it’s clear that a focus on quality is key. At London Youth we often use the phrase ‘good youth work works’ and my role is about ensuring the work is good so we can demonstrate that it works. And like any of the organisations that go through the Quality Mark, the evaluation report has also highlighted areas where we can improve and get better at how we support our members.
If you’re a youth work organisation who is interested in becoming a London Youth member and starting the Quality Mark, then do get in touch!