At Groundwork, we put the voice and interests of young people at the centre of all we do. This means promoting youth participation and social action, delivering youth work for those in need of support, and ensuring that all our plans and programmes empower future generations to meet their needs.

Our goal is to help all young people to play a full and active role in their communities. This means ensuring that their voices are listened to, ensuring they have choice about their lives and their environment, and empowering them to play a part in the decisions that affect their lives and communities.

Youth work

The availability of youth work which is open to every young person, such as youth clubs, has been eroded due to pressures on local authority budgets. Groundwork welcomes the increasing recognition of the need to fund open access services alongside targeted services for young people identified as at risk. Open access youth services play a vital preventative role, supporting the health and wellbeing of young people and helping them to become active members of their local communities.

Education & employment

Groundwork is committed to helping young people to access education and employment opportunities, giving them choices and the ability to shape their futures. We know that not all young people are on a level playing field when it comes to moving from education into work and therefore it is vital that personalised support is available for those furthest from the labour market to draw on when needed.

The economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak will hit young people especially hard as many work in insecure jobs and those out of work will be left further behind as employers rebuild their businesses. Those already struggling in education will have had their studies disrupted and may find it difficult to re-engage in learning or compete in a difficult job market. An emergency response is needed to ensure that this crisis does not scar the prospects of a generation. Groundwork’s experience of supporting young people into employment demonstrates that temporary job creation and wage subsidy schemes, with personalised support for those with specific barriers, is an approach that helps keep young people engaged and motivated while delivering wider social and environmental benefits. Investment in green jobs will help ensure that the impact is sustainable in the long term and that we emerge from the pandemic stronger than we went in.

Find out more about how we are supporting families and young people during the COVID-19 pandemic here.

Our commitments

We are committed to safeguarding young people both directly while participating in our programmes and through taking practical action on poverty and climate change.

These commitments are reflected in our Hear By Right accreditation, which recognises our dedication to youth participation and promoting youth voice. Since 2018, Groundwork has drawn on the creativity and vision of a Youth Advisory Board, made up of 16 to 24 year olds drawn from a wide range of backgrounds, who advise on the charity’s approach to business planning, fundraising and campaign development.

For more information about how we work with young people, visit our pages on supporting young people and life skills and employment.