Lynne Featherstone with Y-Gen youth assessorsWent to visit Y-Gen in Crouch End. Y-Gen is a great organisation that exists to improve young peoples’ lives. They work with those who provide services for young people.

I was meeting a group of their young people who were all doing A2 year at school – but who voluntarily came into Y-Gen for many, many hours outside of their normal school hours to train and assess services for young people. They do it by awarding a ‘Youth Mark’. I guess the best way to describe it is an equivalent to a ‘Kite Mark’. The Youth Mark they award can be bronze, silver or gold – to organisations who provide young peoples’ services – but it is unique in that this ‘mark’ is awarded by young people based on a rigorous and extensive analysis and assessment of that service provision – by young people.  It is not a matter of failing any organisation – but working with them to improve their service delivery.

Y’Gen has a wealth of experience in a number of areas including developing youth engagement programmes, providing personalised support to help young people overcome barriers to learning, database management and producing analytical reports.

These young people who you can see in the picture have all received certificates themselves for their work in this program. They told me about two organisations that they had been in to assess – Exposure and Wood Green Library. They spend about 40 hours in an organisation making observations, conducting interviews and assessments before working with their trainers to deliver the final reports.

I was so impressed with their work – that I stayed chatting for far longer than I should have – but it was a very inspiring project to visit – very uplifting. And the skills that these young people develop, the commitment they show and their enthusiasm and interest will no doubt stand them in extremely good stead for the years to come when they themselves go on to further education and the working world.