Our Approach


We understand the strengths and needs of young people

With approximately 830,500 young people in our network we understand the phenomenal strengths of young people right across the UK, and the many and diverse challenges they face as they transition to adulthood.

Our role is to listen to young people – and the amazing organisations that work with them – to continuously improve our understanding of their lives and amplify their voices.

UK Youth is in a unique position to connect young people to policymakers and influencers at a national level, ensuring they have a seat at the table on matters as diverse as Brexit, mental and physical health, training and employment, housing and immigration, and the environment.

We provide a common framework for delivery

As a national organisation we are able to observe differences and similarities in services for young people across the UK. We have developed a common set of values, a framework for delivery and a suite of awards that youth organisations and young people across our network can buy into:

• UK Youth Values

The Social Development Journey 

• Youth Achievement Awards

We are constantly reviewing and adding to these frameworks as our knowledge and understanding of what works (and what doesn’t) grows. Our aim is to inform and strengthen the work of grassroots youth organisations.

The Social Development Journey is based on a foundation of positive relationships, voluntary participation, equality, opportunity and empowerment.

We work together in partnership with the community

At UK Youth we believe that local organisations understand the needs of local young people better than anyone else. Our aim is to support and strengthen them to maximise the positive impact they have on young lives.

We work in partnership with inspiring youth organisations across Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England, ranging from traditional youth groups and sports clubs, to schools and social enterprises.

Last year we spent £4.3 million on direct delivery work to young people, piloting new approaches, investing in areas of high deprivation and low provision, supporting outdoor education and rolling out successful programmes nationwide.

We measure national impact

The UK Youth Impact team monitor and evaluate everything we do to capture and share learnings across our network to inform good practice and bring about systemic change to the youth sector.

We learn what works and share best practice

Informed by our work in local communities, we aim to continuously improve services for young people across the UK. We achieve this by piloting new initiatives, sharing, replicating and scaling what works, unlocking funding for the sector, advocating on behalf of young people and influencing policy.

View our Model here 

Read our Theory of Change here 

Watch our work in action

Our aim is for every young person to become a positive force for change in their own life, and the lives of others. Watch our video to see our work in action:

Find out more about our national programmes

Our projects and programmes are shown to have had a significant impact on young people with an average increase of over 20% in key capabilities including communication, problem solving and confidence.

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