The Curve goes under Young Inspectors’ microscope

Published: 09 January 2018

Slough’s Young Inspectors celebrated a successful year of inspecting the borough’s local services at an event at St Martins Place on Friday 22 December.

The role of Young Inspectors is to identify how youth-friendly services are and to identify possible improvements. They are trained and supported by the council’s young people’s service.

Councillor Shabnum Sadiq, cabinet member for children and education, attended the event to present Slough’s budding Young Inspectors with awards for their services.

The Young Inspectors programme follows a ‘critical friend’ model where the customer – in this case young people – reviews specific aspects of the services offered by the council and other providers.

The council and other agencies which have used the Young Inspectors service have found the feedback invaluable as a catalyst to make improvements.

In their biggest venture of 2017, Slough’s Young Inspectors went undercover in April to inspect and report on how youth-friendly The Curve’s services really are.

The Young Inspectors conducted a thorough review of The Curve by carrying out an observation activity, a mystery shop and a survey of service users. They also inspected The Curve’s website.

Following their inspection, the group compiled a report of recommendations and as a result, many changes have been implemented at the venue.

Councillor Sadiq said: “The Young Inspectors programme is an important way of demonstrating to the young people who undertake the inspections, that the views of young people are valued and taken on board.

“Slough’s team of Young Inspectors do a fantastic job in holding both our own services, and those of others, to a higher standard.

“With their valuable input we can work together to improve services, not only for young people, but for all the residents of Slough.”

The following changes have now been made to make The Curve more welcoming to young people:

• improved quiet study areas
• better availability of revision guides
• maps and improved signage to help people find what they’re looking for
• new social media channels for The Curve, which are more relevant to young people, specifically Snapchat and Instagram
• better information about volunteering opportunities for young people.

Dayna White, audience development coordinator at The Curve, said: “Young Inspectors played a vital role in helping us adapt our space and our service to cater to young people.

“All of the inspectors were incredibly professional and gave us really insightful suggestions which we have implemented since the inspection. We got to hear what young people thought about our offer in a clear and professional way, which made it really simple for us to put the changes into practice.

“After the inspection we had a clear and informative report, followed by an incredibly useful presentation from the young inspectors themselves which led to further discussion about how we can improve beyond the changes we had already made.”

The Young Inspectors added: “The Curve inspection was really inspiring as we were able to understand the different views and opinions of people who use the building and make positive changes to the service.”

The Young Inspectors are available to give a young person’s perspective on any services delivered to our local community. If you would like to discuss how they may be able to contribute to improving your service, please contact Giovanni Ferri on 01753 875510 or email sloughforyouth@slough.gov.uk.