Rugby Portobello Trust (RPT) has now achieved the Gold Level of the London Youth Quality Mark. Leone Buncombe, Senior Youth worker at the club, is primarily responsible for ensuring that all the young people who attend the club are enriched through a range of activities such as sport, cooking, music, advice services and accreditations to aid their personal development. She is also involved inorganising off-site activities including work placements and residentials.

Leone works with a team of ten youth workers who have a range of skills and various levels of expertise and engage with the young people in the activities highlighted above. These youth workers work closely with a range of partners to which include schools, social services, local councils and funders and work to maintain positive relationships with service providers to offer holistic mentoring for all the young people who attend the club.

Through their affiliation with London Youth, the Trust heard about the Quality Mark offered by us and Leone states:

“We [the Trust] always knew the work we did at RPT was not like that of just any youth club so we wanted to get recognisable accreditation to verify this. We are a hard working team and it’s great that there is an accreditation that allows us to prove this.”

Upon achieving the Quality Mark, the Trust feel very confident about the services that they offered. They were also happy to learn and take on various new ways of improving their practices as a result of undergoing the process of the Quality Mark which they now implement as part of their daily work. Achieving the Gold Quality Mark means that they have also received £7,000 of unrestricted funding from City Bridge Trust, as well as it being a mark of funding for many other funders to see andrecognise. According to Leone,

“… it also acts as a constant reminder to us to always keep our young members fully engaged in not just doing activities but the planning, development and progression of our programmes…”

“The Quality Mark is definitely a must for any youth service that wants to know that they are providing a quality service for their members. As an organisation it allows you to analyse your work and ensure you really are doing a good job and the best by your young people.”

Leone emphasises the positive aspects of having undergone the process and although she admits that it takes time and hard work to complete the process she states that “… the time invested is worth the results.”