13 December 2018
Joe Marshall joined London Youth as a Policy Intern in November and December 2018. He worked with our Communications Team, supporting London Youth’s policy and influencing work.
I started my spell at London Youth at a particularly exciting time, with the launch of Champion London Youth, a campaign to amplify the voices of young people in speaking out against stereotypes. Having now finished the role of Policy Intern here, which involved working for several Fridays over November and December, it’s clear that the empowering message of the campaign embodies the values of the charity.
The internship involved attending meetings, a Children’s Rights Enquiry at Parliament, and carrying out a number of research tasks, all of which served to further my understanding of the organisation, as well as the climate surrounding youth services in the UK.
The Children’s Rights Enquiry, chaired by parliamentarians and Deputy Mayor of London Joanne McCartney amongst other guests, explored the state of different services relevant to young people, such as the youth justice system and social care. It proved to be a useful forum to hear and consider the perspectives of individuals from different backgrounds, including young people themselves, and charities across the UK on what is happening and what could be done to improve services.
What soon became clear to me after starting the position was the importance of London Youth’s relationships with the different organisations they interact with. My role, more specifically, involved researching the different governmental institutions that London Youth communicate with, and how they might influence or collaborate with them so that better youth services are provided. Perhaps unsurprisingly in the current unstable political environment, ministers and other elected office-holders who had responsibility for providing services to young people resigned during the course of my internship, such as Sam Gyimah MP, Minister for Universities. This reality alerted me to the challenge for organisations like London Youth in maintaining momentum and pressure on government to protect and improve the lives of young people while dealing with an ever-changing set of individuals over time.
The internship was an incredibly beneficial experience, particularly for me as someone who hopes to study politics at university. I finished with a renewed admiration for the charity sector, and would like to thank Gill and Samuel in the Communications Team for this great opportunity.
Joe Marshall, Policy Intern