30 October 2013

A major new investment in London youth clubs will be announced tonight, with voluntary-led clubs set to receive up to £7,000 each once they have achieved the Gold Level of the London Youth Quality Mark. The investment, by the City of London Corporation’s charity, the City Bridge Trust, will enable clubs to transform the lives of thousands of young people in London.

The funding will be launched to coincide with a visit from London Youth patron H.R.H, The Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip, to two Islington-based youth clubs Prospex and Highbury Vale Blackstock Trust.

The awards are targeted at volunteer-led youth clubs, who often do not have the time and funds to invest in training staff and making sure their resources are used effectively. Through the investment, these clubs will receive grants and other benefits when they achieve the London Youth Quality Mark.

Richard Frankland, Youth Services Manager at Prospex, has been involved in the Quality Mark programme through his club and is very positive about the difference it has made:

“Completing our bronze Quality Mark was like having a health check highlighting what was working as it should be; what needed a little attention and what areas we were neglecting. It has helped with funding applications and with recruiting volunteers because they know we have all the correct policies in place. We are now working towards our Silver and Gold Marks and recommend anyone working with young people to do it.”

The London Youth Quality Mark recognises clubs that are doing the most they can to transform the lives of young people. It is awarded at three levels, from Bronze to Gold, and is accredited by City & Guilds. Part of the assessment is carried out by young people.

Under the new award scheme, all clubs that achieve a Bronze London Youth Quality Mark will receive benefits including access to London Youth’s programmes for young people and discounts at outdoor centres. In addition to these benefits, those clubs achieving the Silver level will receive an award of £5,000, and clubs that reach Gold level will receive an award of £7,000.

Rosie Ferguson, Chief Executive of London Youth, said:

“Quality youth work changes young people’s lives. Youth clubs don’t need to be big or rich to make a difference, but they do need to invest in quality to make the most of the time and money they have available.

“That’s why these new awards from the City Bridge Trust are so important. It means more clubs can afford to spend the time developing the quality of their services – and so will be able to do more to help young people overcome disadvantage and benefit from the opportunities open to them.”

Billy Dove MBE JP, Chairman of the City Bridge Trust, said:

“Thousands of people work across hundreds of clubs and centres helping to provide the best quality experiences and opportunities for London’s young people. The City Bridge Trust wanted to recognise and reward the value of their efforts and to help the clubs financially to enable them to keep up the excellent work they are doing. It is vital that we keep investing in our young people as they are our future.”

The City Bridge Trust awards will be open for three years, from October 2013.

The London Youth Quality Mark is accredited by City & Guilds and is part of the national Ambition Quality framework for youth organisations (for more information see ambitionuk.org).

More information about the London Youth Quality Mark can be found here.