UK Youth saddened by closure of British Youth Council

22 March 2024

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National youth work charity UK Youth has expressed its sadness after the British Youth Council, a fellow member of the Back Youth Alliance, announced its permanent closure.

The charity, which “empowered young people aged 25 and under to influence and inform the decisions that affect their lives”, said that “ongoing financial challenges have resulted in insolvency”

Ndidi Okezie OBE, UK Youth Chief Executive Officer, said: “The closure of yet another youth charity, British Youth Council is deeply sad news. It strongly believes in the power of the youth voice, making space for young people to lead on youth voice engagement in Government.

“As fellow members of the Back Youth Alliance, BYC worked hard to ensure young people everywhere have a voice. The British Youth Council has led the UK Youth Parliament, providing opportunities for young people aged 11-18 to use their voice to bring about social change with important campaigns such as calling for universal free school meals, an end to plastic pollution and, support for young people’s mental health. This is vital work that must continue.

Ndidi Okezie OBE, UK Youth Chief Executive Officer.

“Coming so soon after the demise of Children England, the closure of BYC spotlights the economic challenges the charity sector around young people is facing at this time. And this is on top of the financial crisis gripping councils across the country, many of whom have taken to cutting and axing youth provision to save money.

“We have to ask, where exactly do young people have to go for such activities going forward? In an environment where more is needed, we continue to strip things away from our young people.

“New Government-funded research highlights the importance of youth work, with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport-commissioned studies revealing young people who engage in youth work make for healthier, wealthier and happier adults – and worryingly that when preventative support is taken away, young people are more vulnerable to crime and other anti-social behaviour.

“We urge the Government, business and society as a whole to increase investment in young people through quality youth work, for the benefit of the whole population.”

About us

UK Youth is a leading charity with a vision that all young people are equipped to thrive and empowered to contribute at every stage of their lives. With an open network of more than 8,000 youth organisations and nation partners; UK Youth reaches more than four million young people across the UK and is focused on unlocking youth work as the catalyst of change that is needed now more than ever. To find out more, visit ukyouth.org 

UK Youth is involved in a range of programmes designed to help young people thrive, such as outdoor learning, physical literacy, social action and employability, including Hatch, a youth employability programme run in partnership with KFC. For more on UK Youth’s programmes, see ukyouth.org/what-we-do/programmes

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