Our youth work has grown and expanded significantly and our current cycle of funding has enabled us to consolidate a strong and committed team of staff and volunteers and to grow new partnerships. It has also given us the opportunity to develop our working practices and to evaluate different approaches to working with young people. As a result, we are reaching and engaging an increasing number of young people. We are ideally positioned to grow our impact on their lives by building on our existing relationships with them.

Two and a half years ago, we set out to increase young people’s confidence and skills with a focus on employability. We set up a framework of indicators, a theory of change and a flexible curriculum of activities and interventions with young people. We were able to show progress against these indicators and we also worked to recognise development in other, less obvious ways. When a young person gets an interview for a job after working on a personal statement with us, this is great. But when they demonstrate resilience after being rejected, this is also great. Likewise when looking at options for university.

Over 150 young people, last year demonstrated significant growth across a number of our indicators. This includes getting interviews and job offers, taking up volunteering, gaining accreditations and qualifications, dealing with challenges at school and home and taking part in social action projects.

In 2018
⭐ 643 young people engaged in our programme
⭐ 164 achieved outcomes/indicators
⭐ 723 outcomes/indicators in total
⭐ We delivered 760 individual sessions 5981 count attendances
⭐ Our members clocked up 600 youth volunteer hours and we won Islington’s youth volunteer team of the year.
⭐ We benefited from over 1500 volunteer hours by 24 volunteers and 5 youth work students on placement
⭐ Members baked over 2000 cookies for Mary’s supporters during National Thank You Week.

We regularly get requests to partner with us, including schools who are looking to replicate parts of our youth work approach into their pastoral and extracurricular support for their students, a local academy has asked us to develop our peer leadership programme within their school. 

Our work on measuring the impact our activities have had on young people has earned Mary’s Project Oracle’s Standard 2. As a result of this, we are now trialling a suite of measures to see if we can better capture the difference that our provision makes. We are now in a position where we can present strong evidence that our approach is effective, which is why our scope is broadening to include more aspects of young people’s lives and future prospects.

Our Youth Club has been awarded the Gold Quality Mark by London Youth. And we are a popular placement choice among students in youth work, and health and social care. We are committed to the development of the young peoples workforce and helping learners critically explore this complex field.

We are part way through our external evaluation by YMCA George Williams College, initial results indicate that we are achieving what we set out to do and that our participants are recognising their own development with us.