UK Youth was founded in 1911 as the National Organisation of Girls Clubs (NOGC). The original intention of the NOGC was to support clubs for girls and young women working in factories, whose work was long and hard. In 1926 the organisation was renamed the National Council of Girls' Clubs.
By 1944 the organisation had changed its name to the National Association of Girls Clubs and Mixed Clubs to include the affiliation of mixed clubs. In 1953, it became the National Association of Mixed Clubs and Girls Clubs, as by that date the majority of clubs were mixed. In 1961 the organisation became National Association of Youth Clubs (NAYC).
From the 1960s onwards, the organisation had a growing interest in research and work with young people outside of youth club settings. In the 1970s and 1980s, the organisation had a growing interest in working with groups of young people who were unemployed, came from ethnic minorities or were based in rural areas.
The organisation has, from the 1980s onwards, been involved in developing new areas of youth work, including targeted work, outreach programmes, innovative place based initiatives and social action.
NAYC became Youth Clubs UK in 1987 and changed its name to UK Youth for the organisation's 90th Anniversary in 2001. This reflects the organisation's focus on the concerns, interests and lives of young people, rather than any particular setting or meeting place.
The organisation's original role in supporting youth clubs is still a major part of its work. Its work on addressing the issues affecting young people today also echoes the organisation's original concern with the working conditions of girls and young women.
Find out more about UK Youth
Our official archive is housed within the Cadbury Research Library in the University of Birmingham. To view our materials please see the Library's website for details.