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Recognising the importance of quality

 

It is important that everyone in a community knows that their youth club is a good place for young people to go. Somerset Youth and Community Service recognises the importance of this and has created the Benchmark Scheme. A youth club that is awarded a Benchmark quality mark can be easily recognised as a good place for young people to go. The scheme covers safety, sustainability and 'young people friendliness' of the club.

From August 2015, all clubs that receive Somerset Youth and Community Service funding (including Youth and Community Group Grants) will have to have achieved the first level of the Benchmark Scheme - 'Safe and Welcoming'.

The Benchmark Scheme has two levels:

  • Safe and Welcoming recognises clubs that achieve the basic safety standards and a level of welcoming provision for young people.
  • Quality Youth Club builds on Safe and Welcoming, adding elements of information and advice, young people’s involvement in decision making and more stringent levels of child protection training and first aid cover.

Each level is split into four areas:

  • Programme – this looks at what young people experience at their club and what’s available for them
  • People – this covers the people who contribute to, or work in, the club and their management and training
  • Policies – this covers the policies needed to run a club
  • Procedures and paperwork – everything else that needs to be in place. 

 

Starting out - help is at hand

To achieve this Benchmark award, clubs will need to gather evidence for all the criteria.  Each level has its own pack, which includes everything you need to help you to achieve that standard. To get a pack, please contact either of the Youth and Community Officers -

Zara Scott-Davies (07919 540738 / zscottdavies@somerset.gov.uk)

Kirstie Brown (07899 700170 / kbrown@somerset.gov.uk)

The Youth and Community Officers are available to help clubs achieve a Benchmark award. Please contact them! If clubs don’t have all of the policies, paperwork or procedures needed to gain an award, please request a copy of ‘The Community Youth Club Handbook’ which has templates for all the club paperwork mentioned in this scheme. It also has many hints and tips for running a youth club and is free to clubs in Somerset – your Youth and Community Officer can bring you a copy and talk through things.

Are you a youth work provider working with lots of clubs?

For 'Safe and Welcoming', you can submit a one batch of 'provider evidence' for assessment, if you want. Once accepted, you can then submit the club specifc information for each club you are working with. This means you don't need to do a lot of photocopying! Please click here for further information.

 

Want to go it alone or have a look at the different standards? 

Please go to the relevant Benchmark page (Safe and Welcoming or Quality Youth Club) to download the documentation.