Jonathon Gibbs

Jonathan runs Isledon, a community interest company that manages Islington Council’s three youth hubs. These are hired out commercially during the day and the business is run as a development opportunity for young people: half of the 60 staff are aged 25 or under.


Jonathan’s first career was in the BBC, beginning in radio studios, then the Radiophonic Workshop (including several Doctor Who scores), and finally television post production where he introduced digital editing at Television Centre in the 90’s. After a spell in academia at Bath University’s Centre for Action Research he ran a leisure charity in Islington before setting up Isledon.


Since 2011 Isledon has been developing an attendance-monitoring system that uses Oystercards to speed up registration, and a new tablet-based version of this is now piloting- called “I’m Here”.


“I’m Here” is a smartcard-based registration system that records young people’s attendances at sessions and events. Without it they would typically be signing in on paper; instead, young people can present an Oystercard (for example) and then select the sessions they are attending using a tablet. This removes administration time and gives service-providers and their funders vital information about what young people are actually doing with their feet. Staff can also create outcome records for individual service-users based on their attendance history. This supports impact measurement that is firmly grounded and practical. The system has been developed over 6 years using input from over 10,000 young users and their youth workers. It drives KPI-reporting and daily decision-making based on clear, simple evidence.