UK Youth delighted to join new youth work alliance

2 April 2024

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UK Youth has today joined YMCA George Williams College in announcing a new sector-wide alliance, bringing together leading voices and practices in shared measurement to evidence the impact of quality youth work.

The Youth Work Evidence Alliance will bring together a group of ‘torchbearers’, representing the funding community, infrastructure bodies, practitioners and local authorities, with the goal of transformative, collaborative action in collating, sharing and reflecting on data about the impact of youth work.

Oscar Bingham, UK Youth assistant director of research and impact, said: “UK Youth is a proud member of the alliance. Collaboration between the organisations involved is fundamental to proving and improving youth work’s incredible impact on young people and society.

“We’re committed to contributing to the evidence base, driving forward practical, shared approaches to impact measurement and shaping the evidence agenda.

“By sharing learning and evidence from our own impact framework, our programme of research and other data standardisation initiatives we’re involved in, UK Youth can bring real value to the alliance.”

High-quality youth work changes lives.

Underpinning the work of the alliance is a common understanding: high-quality youth work changes lives.

It can grow young people’s social and emotional skills, support their physical and mental wellbeing, foster their ability to form and sustain positive relationships, build their connections to the world of work, and enable their active engagement in communities.

However, evidencing the impact of youth work on the lives of young people – and the communities in which they live – can be challenging.

This holds the youth work sector back, limiting opportunities to celebrate and advocate for the transformative potential of youth work, undermining learning from data and evidence, and driving the constant need to make the case for resources.

Collaboration between the organisations involved is fundamental to proving and improving youth work’s incredible impact on young people and society.

Oscar Bingham, UK Youth assistant director of research and impact

Many have recognised these issues. Youth work delivery organisations, local authorities, commissioners, funders and researchers have all been involved in a range of initiatives focused on evidence, impact and data over recent years.

However, too often, efforts are short-lived, fragmented, poorly communicated and/or difficult to implement.

The YWEA will aim to galvanise the sector’s energies and provide a focal point for shared interests, working to establish youth work’s impact as a collective endeavour, building consensus and common approaches through collaboration.

Together, the alliance will:

Founding members

As well as UK Youth, founding members of the YWEA include: BBC Children in Need, the Institute for Youth Work, London Youth, the National Association of Boys and Girls Clubs, the National Citizens Service, the National Lottery Community Fund, National Youth Agency, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Research in Practice, Woodcraft Folk, the Youth Endowment Fund, Youth Focus: North East, and Youth Moves.

YMCA George Williams College, with support from the Department for Media, Culture and Sport, will act as secretariat and convenor of the alliance.

Alliance members are fully committed to working together to achieve a transformational vision for shared impact measurement

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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