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26 February 2020

As part of the London Youth Quality Mark, members of our youth advisory board Dare London, have the opportunity to come along on Young Assessor visits. In February, Curtis joined our Membership Development Officer Nicole on a visit to Ebony Horse Club.

Nicole – Why did you apply to become a young assessor?

CurtisI was just fascinated by the effect that being part of a youth club had on me and the opportunities it gave me, so I just thought let me give back and understand the processes behind what it takes to run a successful youth organisation. I wanted to see it from the inside and not just from the outside.

Nicole – What skills and development do you feel like you’ll gain from doing more young assessor visits throughout the year?

CurtisI feel like I will learn how to mix both my practical and theoretical side; assessing people through the stuff that’s done practically and applying that to the theory (Young Assessor Quality Mark Framework). I feel like I will be able to organise myself better through this role.

Nicole – What did you enjoy the most today about your visit to Ebony Horse Club as a young assessor?

CurtisI enjoyed speaking with the staff and young people about their experience and how things are put into place. I also enjoyed learning about what goes on behind the scenes to deal with the horses and how the horses are prepared for people to ride them.

Nicole – What benefits do you think young people gain by attending Ebony Horse Club?

Curtis They are calmed by riding the horse because they are very gentle creatures. I feel like they learn how to organise themselves through the management of the horses, like grooming, feeding, cleaning the stables. I feel like they learn how to become more confident in themselves and in the activities. For example, some people were not confident in trotting the horses, but the leaders were always by their side helping, encouraging and supporting them to do so, and they became more confident as time went on. They learnt how to trust themselves because the leaders are always supporting them and helping them through.

Nicole – Do you think it’s important for young people to get the opportunity to visit different youth organisations?

CurtisI think it’s important for young people to get the opportunity to visit other youth organisations because it can help youth services become more effective as we see what is good and what works for young people. I feel like there is a stigma against youth clubs; that they are the sort of places which cause antisocial behaviour. If we make it something that can be assessed and can be shown to be good then it will be improved tenfold, a thousand-fold.

Nicole – Why do you think youth organisations/clubs are important?

CurtisI think they are important because they help young people to realise their true potential regardless of where they come from because the youth workers are there to help the young person no matter what their circumstances are at home. They help the young individual, like, I’ve seen this countless times, they help them to forget what’s going on outside and they get to focus on what is happening in the present moment. It gives them a purpose.

Nicole – What do you like about your youth club?

CurtisI just enjoyed how inclusive it is, the sports side and I also enjoyed that they gave me responsibility.

Nicole – So you’re on our youth board, Dare London. How long have you been on Dare?

CurtisThis is my 3rd and final year.

Nicole – How does it feel to be on your final year?

Curtis Ermmmm…. It feels quite sad that I’m going to leave because I have served 3 years, but I also feel accomplished and I feel like I have become my best self. It has helped me in so many areas in my life.