This year’s Youth Work Week theme is Youth Services: youth work for today and tomorrow. Youth Work Week, now in its 24th year, is an annual celebration of youth work, providing an opportunity for youth organisations, youth workers and young people to celebrate their achievements and the impact of their work. It’s run by the National Youth Agency (NYA), the national body for youth work and youth services in the UK. Continuing with our celebrations here at Groundwork, we wanted to shout out 14 organisations championing youth work in all its forms, and supporting young people to find their voices, take up space, and thrive, no matter their circumstances.
C’mon! We couldn’t do a post like this without shouting out the amazing work that Groundwork trusts are doing with young people across the UK from Coventry to Wigan, Leigh, Warrington, Hampshire, London and Nottingham. Whether it’s through our Building Better Opportunities: ‘Progress’ programme; The Careers and Enterprise Fund; Our Bright Future; NCS; working with our achievement coaches or practitioners at youth clubs, or joining the Groundwork Youth Network, we know the huge positive impact that young people can have on their local communities. To ensure this potential doesn't go untapped, our teams work with local young people to give them an opportunity to be heard on issues that impact them and their community, as well as provide the tools to make a difference. These projects bridge generation gaps, create stronger communities, reduce reports of anti-social behaviour and take practical action on local and global environmental issues.
Find out more about Groundwork here: www.groundwork.org.uk
National Youth Agency (NYA)
The National Youth Agency are the awesome people that have given us Youth Work Week over the last 24 years! NYA is the national body for the vital, but under-recognised and often under-appreciated sector that is Youth work. Their vision is rooted in a steadfast belief in young people and their ability to shape the world. By championing, professionalising and enabling youth work, NYA strives to find better, more inventive ways to empower more young people. Their starting point is the belief in young people and their potential to shape the world, no matter what society puts in their way. NYA’s plan has three key elements:
- Championing youth work in all its many forms – incubating new approaches, celebrating its many thousands of practitioners;
- Professionalising youth work – training youth workers, setting occupational standards;
- Enabling youth work – making it happen through our networks of front line youth work providers.
They have transformed the lives of an impressive 500,000 young people.
Find out more about NYA’s work here: www.nya.org.uk
Salmon Youth Centre
The Salmon Youth Centre has been reaching out to young people in inner city London for over a hundred years. They welcome around 500 young people every week from all backgrounds, between ages six and 25 years old. They promote positive change in young people and support their transition to adulthood by improving young people’s Health & Wellbeing; preparing young people for Education & Work; and involving young people in positive Community Engagement. Salmon provides generic and specialised youth work to young people across 35 weekly sessions, including activities such as adventure, arts, dance, drama, music and sports.
Find out more here: www.salmonyouthcentre.org
Positive Youth Foundation (PYF)
The Positive Youth Foundation provides opportunities for young people to reach their full potential. They work with those living within challenging circumstances in a highly targeted and bespoke manner and believe that every young person has the right to achieve, and base their work upon a philosophy of mutual respect. Their grass-roots research and delivery enables them to support young people and advocate on behalf of the youth and community sector. Their recent Electric Proms at Warwick Arts Centre left the city of Coventry ‘fizzing with pride’ - and with good reason to.
Read more about the event here: www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/business/young-voices-behind-uk-city-13865780
And find out more about the amazing work of PYF here: www.positiveyouthfoundation.org
Growing up on the Grahame Park Estate, North West London, Temi Mwale was surrounded from a young age by violence in a variety of forms. In 2012, following the murder of her childhood friend Marvin in 2010, Temi founded Get Outta The Gang at 16-years-old. The group campaigned for increased provisions to address serious youth violence and for young people, since they were closest and most affected by the issue, to play a leading role in creating the solutions. The group evolved into a formal organisation offering services and implementing impactful programmes. In 2016, the organisation rebranded to The 4Front Project, symbolising a commitment to putting young people at the forefront.
Find out more about the incredible work of 4Front here: www.4frontproject.org
Other organisations making a difference:
Valley House is a local organisation working with young people aged 16 to 29 who live in Coventry and Warwickshire. Their services support young people to overcome challenges such as managing relationships, improving health and wellbeing, homelessness and addressing social isolation.
To find out more, visit here: www.valleyhouse.org.uk
UK Youth is a leading national youth work charity founded in 1911 that delivers national programmes to provide opportunities to young people. The charity is an umbrella body with 40 local youth associations from across England. UK Youth's national programmes are delivered locally in partnership with its members, and many are supported by corporate partners.
Find out more here: www.ukyouth.org
The Prince's Trust is a youth charity that helps young people aged 13 to 30 get into jobs, education and training in the UK.
Find out more here: www.princes-trust.org.uk
The National Citizen Service (NCS) is a UK Government voluntary personal and social development programme for 15–17 year olds in England and Northern Ireland. The programme promotes social cohesion, social mobility, and social engagement.
Find out more here: www.ncsyes.co.uk
YMCA England & Wales
YMCA is the oldest and largest youth charity in the world! In England and Wales, they intensively support 228,000 young people every year, ensuring each young person they meet has an opportunity to belong, contribute and thrive. They offer support and advice, accommodation, family support, health and wellbeing advice, training and education opportunities and carry out research and lobby to change policy.
Find out more about the incredible work of YMCA here: www.ymca.org.uk
Young Minds UK
Young Minds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the wellbeing and mental health of children and young people.
Find out more here: www.youngminds.org.uk
Leap supports young people aged between 11 and 25 to make changes in their lives by gaining a greater understanding of themselves and their relationship with conflict. Many of the young people they work with have grown up in care, display violent behaviour, are not in mainstream education or are caught up in the criminal justice system.
They also design training sessions and larger programmes for those working most closely with young people like local council workers, youth workers, prison officers and other voluntary sector workers, supporting them to achieve the best outcomes for young people.
Find out more here: www.leapconfrontingconflict.org.uk
Damilola Taylor Trust
The Damilola Taylor Trust was established in May 2001 in memory of Damilola Taylor who was tragically killed in 2000. The Damilola Taylor Trust is committed to providing inner-city young people with opportunities to play, learn and live their lives free of fear and violence, and with optimism for a future where opportunities flourish.
Find out more about their noble mission here: www.damilolataylortrust.co.uk
Khulisa works with young people in schools, prisons and in the community, helping them to understand and tackle the root-cause of their violent and anti-social behaviours. They do this by placing wellbeing at the heart of rehabilitation and providing intensive therapeutic support and mentoring, which builds self-awareness and emotional resilience.
Find out more about the work of Khulisa here: www.khulisa.co.uk
Post by Siana Bangura – Campaigns Officer, Groundwork UK