Here at UK Youth we're dedicated to promoting positive activities and life choices for young people. Through our network of youth associations we reach up to 750,000 young people every year. We understand that in difficult times, there needs to be provision for young people who are at risk of becoming marginalised, such as those classified as 'NEET'. Many of our programmes are youth-led from development to delivery, ensuring they resonate with young people.
Jo Mayes (21) took part in our Healthy Young Adult Transitions project between 2009 and 2011 after some gentle encouragement from her youth worker. The HYAT project required a group of young people to act as "consultants" for the health service. It culminated in the publication of the report 'Something Must Change.'
Jo had experienced severe mental health issues growing up, which resulted in very low self-confidence, which prevented her from looking for employment after leaving college. Jo's involvement in the project required her Jo was supported throughout the project which saw her gain vital experience in public speaking, report writing and project management. Jo did such as good job that this led to her being offered a 4 month internship at UK Youth. Since then, Jo has gone on to win a V-Inspired award for her community work and secured a job at a sports company.
"This experience has opened up a whole new world for me, in terms of learning to work and travel independently and gain key social skills. Since finishing the programme I've found a job I love, organising holidays for children. I would never have had the confidence to do any of this before. "
Claire Barker (22) was another young person to benefit from the Healthy Young Adult Transitions project. Claire fell pregnant shortly after leaving school which caused her to re-think her plans to go to college and find work. Claire heard about the opportunity from the Manager of her local Parent and Baby Group who convinced her to apply.
"Taking part in the project gave me both confidence in myself and my abilities. Since finishing the project I have been accepted on an Open University course to study for a degree in Psychology. Not bad for a girl with just GCSE's!"
UK Youth offers a range of learning opportunities for young people outside of school, including many corporate-supported programmes. Research shows that there are mutual benefits associated with businesses and youth organisations working in partnership. To learn more, see our United Futures project.