Future Youth Zone has always been a prominent and proud member of the ever-growing OnSide Network of Youth Zones.  Over the next couple of years the number of Youth Zones is set to increase from 14 to 22 and as part of the growth of the Network it is important to consider our models of working so that we can ensure we continue to deliver consistent and high-quality services to young people.  Recently the CEO of Croydon Youth Zone made the decision to move on from his role to a new opportunity which has presented the Network with a chance to move forwards with a new way of working.  Trustees of both Barking and Dagenham Youth Zone and Croydon Youth Zone have agreed to move to a model whereby one CEO would have joint responsibility for both Charity’s.  Therefore, from 4th September 2023, Gavin will take on the CEO role of Croydon Youth Zone on a permanent basis whilst retaining his role as CEO of Barking and Dagenham Youth Zone.

A CEO having shared leadership responsibilities across more than one Youth Zone is a model that has been considered in the OnSide Network for some time and is already a common approach across lots of other sectors and organisations.  Both Barking and Dagenham and Croydon Youth Zone Trustees are pleased to be adopting this new way of working and see that this will bring many opportunities to share best practise, develop staff and share resources. 

The day-to-day operation of a Youth Zone is key to ensuring the Youth Zone’s continued success.  As part of the new leadership model we are pleased to share that our former Head of Youth Work, Gershom Clarke, has been appointed to the role of Chief Operating Officer.  Gershom will have overall accountability and decision-making responsibility for the day to day running of the Youth Zone which will include Youth Work delivery, safeguarding, volunteering, all back office functions and non Youth Work delivery functions, elements of finance and general leadership and development of team members. 

We are excited that our Barking and Dagenham Youth Zone will be taking the lead in moving forwards with a new approach that we believe provides opportunities to increase consistency in how we operate and provide a greater emphasis on the sustainability of our Charity.  We don’t foresee that the changes will have any direct impact to our amazing donors and supporters but if you have any questions at all please feel free to contact us in the normal way.