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, and ensuring that all our plans and programmes empower future generations.

Our goal is to help all young people to play a full and active role in their communities. We do this by 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

Youth work which is open to every young person, such as youth clubs, has been reduced because of 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 enables 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. 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 have hit young people especially hard. Many young people work in insecure jobs or are just entering the jobs market. Young people who are 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. We need an emergency response to ensure that this crisis does not scar the prospects of a generation.

Groundwork’s experience demonstrates that temporary job creation and wage subsidy schemes, with personalised support for those with specific barriers, helps keep young people engaged and motivated while delivering wider social and environmental benefits. We are calling on the government to extend the Kickstart scheme to ensure more young people are able to benefit. We are also calling for investment in green jobs to ensure that the impact is sustainable in the long term and that we emerge from the pandemic stronger than we went in.

Our commitments

We are committed to safeguarding young people, both directly on our programmes and through taking practical action on poverty and climate change. The Hear By Right accreditation 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. Members are drawn from a wide range of backgrounds and advise us on business planning, fundraising and campaign development.

Find out more

Our policy reports:

Groundwork is a member of the Youth Employment Group and the National Youth Advisory Board.

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