This week the Chancellor, Philip Hammond presented his first Spring Statement since the government decided to move to one major fiscal event in a year. The statement was light on new policy announcements, with the major tax and spending decisions being left to the Autumn Budget later this year.

What are the key points?

  1. The OBR (Office for Budget Responsibility) has delivered a slightly sunnier forecast for the UK economy due to stronger than expected tax receipts. As a result, public borrowing has fallen to £45.2bn, and the first sustained fall in debt for 17 years. The OBR now predicts that in 2018-19 the UK will be running a surplus on its current account. However, for the first time in modern history, UK GDP growth is expected to remain below 2% in every forecast year (from now to 2022).
  2. It was announced that £80 million will be made available to support small businesses engaging with apprenticeships. In addition, the National Living Wage will rise across all age groups:
For workers 25 and over £7.83 
21 to 24 £7.38 
18 to 21 £5.90
16 – 17 £4.20
Apprentice rate £3.70


  1. Over £1.5 billion has been allocated to departments and devolved administrations to prepare for Brexit in 2018-19. It is part of the £3 billion to be spent over two years announced at Autumn Budget 2017.

What does the Spring Statement 2018 mean for young people and the sector?

Whilst this may sound positive, growth continues to disappoint. Although the economy is working for some, it isn’t working for many. The social mobility of young people from the most disadvantaged areas is yet to improve and stats from our recent State of the Membership Report show that there has been a 41% reduction in universal spending on young people in England between 2014/15 and 2017/18. The impact of this has been felt acutely by young people and communities with the closure of 600 youth centres. Without a safe space to go and a trusted adult to talk to, young people who face multiple challenges. They are unable to get the support they need to successfully transition into adulthood and employment.

Our call to action!

We need to focus on ensuring the outcomes of the Civil Society Strategy are properly resourced, so that our members and the wider youth sector have the funding that it needs to ensure that all young people are able to build bright futures. We also need to get certainty on Brexit funding and the implications of this on organisations that support young people. None of these issues have been addressed in the Spring Statement.

We urge the Chancellor to address these issues in the budget later this year and invest in young people and youth services.

A staggering eight out of ten young Brits are concerned they will never be financially secure, according to a new study by our programme Money for Life.

Our researchers took an in depth look into the nation’s 16-25-year olds aspirations for the future and discovered that 83 percent of those polled expressed concerns that they would never be stable in terms of money.

When asked what financial security means to young people, 57 percent said not stressing about bills coming through the letterbox, 52 percent said it was being able to support a partner and family and 45 percent said it would simply be knowing your debit card won’t be declined in a shop.

Additionally 51 percent said they would feel financially secure if they did not long for pay day to arrive, while half said not going into their overdraft would make them feel more secure.

Our study also identified that 21 percent of young Brits struggle to pay their rent, while 19 percent said their poor financial situation means they won’t be able to go to university. Two in ten (19 percent) of 16-25-year olds said they don’t have the funds to buy clothes that didn’t come from second hand or charity shops, and 11 percent claimed they struggle to feed themselves.

Over half (52 percent) said they simply can’t afford to get a mortgage, with 58 percent of the 1,000 young Brits polled reporting that they still lived with their parents.

Almost half (49 percent) said they were still completely or partially reliant on their parents for money, with a further 26 percent saying their parents had to help them out financially from “time to time”.

In fact, according to our study, the average British family helps their adult children out to the tune of £1,416 a year.

We conducted the study to support our financial education programme, Money for Life. The programme aims to help young people make the most of their money by empowering 16-25 year olds with the skills they need to manage their money, become financially capable and start talking confidently and openly about money.

Patrick Shaw-Brown, Director of National Programmes at UK Youth said: “It’s concerning that eight in ten young people fear they will never be financially stable. Much more needs to be done to help young people feel optimistic about their future and confident with their money.

“UK Youth’s Money for Life programme works to change this by providing money management support to young people both online at and offline through Money Masterclasses, delivered by UK Youth’s national network of youth organisations.

“Already Money for Life has engaged over 450,000 young people, many of whom are from some of the most deprived areas of the UK. After taking part in our Money Masterclasses, young people’s attitudes towards finances are significantly improved and we’re also making real impact on their behavioural choices, helping thousands of young people to build a bright future in which they feel financially secure.”

Our research also revealed that 19 percent said that their perilous financial situation meant that they were unable to pursue the career of their dreams – with the average youngster feeling truly despondent about their future situation five times a month.

To help young people feel more optimistic about their future, today Money for Life has launched a new savings calculator to help young people discover their hidden fortune and inspire them to make wise money decision that will get them a step closer to their dream career. The new feature calculates how much they spend on guilty pleasures or small, regular indulgencies to showcase what that money could buy to kick start their career. Find out more here.

For more advice on how to make the most of your money, young people can visit or follow @MoneyforLifeUK on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more information, please contact:
Emma Roberts, Head of Marketing and Communications, UK Youth: | 07455 554 690

This blog was written by Jessica Mencia, who is currently undertaking a placement at UK Youth. For more information about UK Youth voice, please go here.

After living in the London and volunteering for UK Youth for a little over a month, I was excited to spend a weekend with UK Youth Voice members in February.

Currently, I am studying abroad from the United States with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The structure of my programme allows me to take three courses and a placement, which is how I became connected with UK Youth. While in London, I have been studying theatre, world art, and journalism. The courses are all focused on British culture and current events, which has made living in London all the more enriching. At UK Youth, I am supporting in the Policy and Youth Engagement team. So far, I have written policy bulletins and done research on policies that impact young people in the United Kingdom.

While I am enjoying my program, all of my courses are with fellow Americans, which makes it challenging to meet locals. Coming to my first UK Youth Voice meeting, I was especially excited to interact young people from the United Kingdom.

The meeting was held at the WWF Living Planet Centre in Woking, England. The centre was a great venue that allowed us all to learn about the importance of an environmentally friendly workspace. The tour given by Amy was a great overview of the space and the work that WWF does to protect the environment. As a student in public policy, the tour reminded me to be more involved in educating myself in environmental policy. At the end of the tour, we were asked to pledge an individual action to help the environment. I decided to pledge to start composting again. I composted last summer, but stopped once the term began again. Composting is an easy way to reduce food reduction and is something I look forward to doing once I am back in the United States.

“Something that I am eager to take back home”

Over the course of the meeting, we discussed LGBTQ rights, mentoring, and ways that young people can help the environment. I also got a behind the scenes look at the process for selecting new UK Youth Voice members. This process involved UK Youth Voice members reviewing applications and calling applicants for an interview. UK Youth Voice stands out in involving young people in as many ways as possible, out of all the organisations I am involved with. Consequently, this is something that I am eager to bring back to the youth charities I work with back home.

In between the activities, I talked to members about the differences and similarities between our lives as young people from different countries. I got a lot of questions about American universities, food, and sports. I am really thankful for the way UK Youth Voice welcomed me, being around Americans most of the time. Discussing different laws and policies between our countries was interesting. But it was also nice to have a laugh or recommend my favourite American television shows.

Unfortunately, my programme ends in late April and I am not looking forward to leaving. I miss friends and family, but I have grown attached to living and studying in London. However, I think that participating in a UK Youth Voice meeting has benefited my experience abroad. Most of all, I know this experience will be one that I can bring back to my own community involvement.

During National Safeguarding Month, we’re calling on all organisations working with young people to pledge to Stop, Look, Listen. As an organisation taking part, we spoke to Tom Clarke-Forrest, Founder & CEO of Sport 4 Life UK about why they are taking part and what they’re doing to promote better safeguarding. You can follow Sport 4 Life UK on Twitter and Facebook.

Why is Sport 4 Life UK taking part?

Sport 4 Life UK is taking part in National Safeguarding Month, and the ‘Stop, Look, Listen’ campaign because young people need more support than ever. Research from UK Youth shows that 1 in 10 young people feel they have no one to turn to to discuss their concerns, 85% have moments where they feel lonely, and shockingly, 6 in 10 young people are more likely to battle on alone than ask for help. I, like anyone, can’t help but feel moved and saddened by these insights. Unfortunately this is the case, and we must focus on doing all we can to safeguard and support young people.

As Founder and CEO of my charity, I have a key responsibility in ensuring that we do this. I also believe that safeguarding should be everyone’s responsibility – trustees, management, operational staff, volunteers. Taking part in this campaign will improve our own safeguarding and I hope it will also encourage others to make the pledge.

What is Sport 4 Life UK doing during National Safeguarding Month?

During National Safeguarding Month Sport 4 Life UK took the ‘Stop, Look, Listen’ campaign pledge and reviewed its policies and practices. Crucially, this review process elicited a number of tangible changes, which will make our safeguarding processes better.

We reviewed all policies that come under ‘safeguarding’. From this we took a number of steps. We added a new sub-policy. In addition, we amended our ‘Learning and Development Policy’ to ensure all relevant staff are trained to meet standards. We improved the reporting processes of incidents to our board of trustees. Finally, we added ‘safeguarding’ as a standing agenda item on all operational committees.

Why am I encouraging others to get involved

If you work with young people you must always act in their best interests and ensure you have reasonable steps in place to prevent them from harm. It’s impossible to eliminate all risks, but that’s not an excuse to not do all you can to mitigate them. Having safeguards in place within your organisation protects and promotes the welfare of young people. It also enhances the confidence of trustees, staff, volunteers, stakeholders and the general public.

Disadvantaged young people are particularly vulnerable and its incredibly to have proper safeguards in place for their protection. UK Youth’s ‘Stop, Look, Listen’ campaign during National Safeguarding Month, and its #KeepMeSafe resources is a simple and useful platform to review your current safeguarding policies and processes and make improvements – and will ultimately keep more young people safe.

What are you doing to #KeepMeSafe? Join the conversation on twitter or contact us at to share your story.

Action Academy Charitable Fund has donated a new fleet of 25 new Cube mountain bikes to UK Youth. The donation, which was supplied by Hargreaves Cycles, will allow UK Youth to support more young people to experience, learn and develop at their outdoor centre, Avon Tyrrell, based in the heart of the New Forest.

Last year, 23,000 young people visited UK Youth’s Avon Tyrrell outdoor centre to engage in outdoor learning opportunities in a safe and accessible environment that helped them experience, learn and develop.

Over recent years, UK Youth has developed their mountain bike trails at Avon Tyrrell and increased its fleet of bikes to support the growing popularity of the sport. With accessible trails for inclusion bikes, beginner and intermediate routes, as well as more technical elements for advanced riders, the trails are frequently used by individuals and groups that visit the outdoor centre.

Matt Simmons, Chief Instructor at Avon Tyrrell said “This new fleet of bikes is going to make a massive difference to the standard of sessions that we run. The bikes are a much higher quality than our current fleet and we are very grateful to the Big Bike Bash and Action Academy Charitable Fund for their donation.”

For the past 10 years, Avon Tyrrell has hosted the annual Big Bike Bash, organised by Action Academy. The Big Bike Bash is a family friendly bike festival where adults and young people actively take part in bike races and competitive challenges before enjoying a range of live music acts in the evening. The annual event attracts over 800 people to the New Forest over the August Bank Holiday.

David Watts, Director of Operations and Avon Tyrrell says “Our relationship with the Big Bike Bash over the years has grown to be a tremendously successful one and we are extremely grateful for the support and passion for mountain biking they have brought to Avon Tyrrell. These bikes will really improve our current fleet and we can’t wait to see young people using them and get them out on our tracks. Action Academy has made a positive difference for young people and we’re really grateful for their support.”

If you would like to find out more about the opportunities Avon Tyrrell provides, please contact Guest Services on 01425 672347 or email

More details can be found on our website:

For more information, please contact:

Emma Roberts, Head of Marketing and Communications, UK Youth: | 07455 554 690


By Kelly Metcalfe, Head of Learning and Leadership at UK Youth, for National Apprenticeships Week. You can find out more about Avon Tyrrell by visiting our website, or by following us on Facebook and Twitter

Apprenticeships are a great way to start your career path, with on the job training and access to support that will enable you to build a solid foundation in your chosen career. At Avon Tyrrell, home of UK Youth, we provide more than opportunities to learn outside the classroom.

20% of our work force are on their apprenticeship journey,  providing them with the skills, qualifications and tools they need. Many embark on successful careers beyond their time with us, enabled by a 90% pass rate on our apprenticeship programme. This platform for learning and development has led to previous apprentices becoming teachers, tree surgeons, trainers and business owners.

The work we do with our Apprentices has an impact on the future development of our programmes and activities.   As well as being sought after instructors within the outdoor sector, many of our apprentices go on to full time positions with us. Through this, they use their skills, knowledge and experience to develop and shape our apprenticeship programme.

What our apprentices gain

At Avon Tyrrell we host twelve apprentices at any one time, with a mix of intermediate and advanced apprentices.  Since 2002, we have had 89 apprentices, showing our true commitment to the area.

UK Youth apprentices not only learn from experienced instructors here on site, but they also have the incredible opportunity to achieve a good range of high quality industry qualifications.  This along with the key skills and experience they gain working with different groups and from living away from home sets these young people up with essential life skills and experience that enables them to build exciting career prospects.

Initially there is a twelve month programme, with the opportunity to progress onto the second year to gain more national qualifications and experience. Our programme is led by a mix of nationally recognised experts being bought in to deliver high quality qualifications and in house experts to support the development of soft skills and experience.  There are also a variety of offsite trips that help to develop experience and the ability to transfer skills.

A UK Youth Apprenticeship will give you:

  • The opportunity to gain nationally recognised industry qualifications
  • NVQ level 2 – 3
  • Earn while you learn
  • Support and assistance from a dedicated apprentice team
  • Learn from a team of industry experts
  • Low cost on site accommodation
  • The ability to build a successful career

National Apprenticeships Week

National Apprenticeships Week takes place each March to show the huge value in apprenticeships. We are using this opportunity to show the great work our apprentices do. We’re really proud of the achievements of all our apprentices. This includes Daisy McDonnell, who this week won a Princes Trust Award.

You can find out more by visiting our website.

This post was written by Emily Fox, Representative for the East of England on UK Youth Voice. You can read more blogs from UK Youth Voice by clicking here and follow them on twitter @UKYV.

Today is International Women’s Day. A day which we should all recognise. It has been happening since 1911 and is now recognised every year by the UN. The day was set up when women were demanding the same rights which men had endured for years before. International Women’s Day brings women together across the world to voice an aim and their rights; to achieve full gender equality for all women through a range of events including talks, rallies and conferences.

We need to recognise some key women who have inspired us in the past

“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.” This is a quote from Oprah Winfrey, who is a motivational speaker on empowering women and girls to go out in the world and have determination to keep on trying to get a step closer to their goals in life.

Eleanor Roosevelt also spoke powerful words when she said “A women is like a tea bag –  you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” We are all fantastic people and we all have our strengths, we just need the opportunity to apply them in any way we can, whether that’s through our jobs, education or youth clubs.

Lastly, but by no means least, Rosa Parks, a civil rights activist, who refused to give up her seat to a white person, stood up to segregation in her society and following the act she said “I knew someone had to take the first step and I made up my mind not to move.” We should all take her advice, and reach out of our comfort zones, push boundaries and stand up for what we believe in, no matter how hard this may seem. By no means should we be pushed into a box or made to feel like we are insignificant in a world of 7 billion people. There is a place for us all to shine and be treated equally.

Drawing light to these figures in history may lead you to think that times have dramatically changed and that the world has become equal now, due to the globalisation of the world. But unfortunately this is far from the truth. Thousands are still in poverty and hunger, or are facing violence, which no one should have to go through. These are just a few of the problems facing women in every continent. Even if you feel you are in a good position, please think about those who are vulnerable, go and campaign for their rights. We are all in this together, no one should have to go through these measures.

It is important we act now

This day is still important because reports from World Economic Forum, those which place a focus on the Gender Gap still say that it will take over 200 years to reach gender parity, with the gap between female and male pay being 9.1%.  In addition, the Fawcett Society found out that women are four times more likely to give up their jobs to care- be this for their children, or parents, and only 28% of top business people are women, as said by the Hampton Alexander Review.

Therefore it is important we act now, not in 10 years time, to make sure something is done. Every one of us- men, women and non-binary, should stand to make a positive impact. I believe that nobody should be disadvantaged because of their gender.

This International Women’s Day calls for a #PressForProgress, where we stand up, we unify and take collective action to ensure that women are further represented and the system is far more inclusive of all genders than it currently appears to be.

Suffragettes showed playing our part in a wider movement can have a real difference in the societies we live in. We have the ability to make a huge change for the benefit of us all.

The right time is now. Take action.

For Young People’s Health Matters week, we are delighted to join the Young People’s Health Partnership, following our merger with Ambition. This blog post originally appeared on the Young People’s Health Partnership site here

Amazing youth led action

Young people sit at the heart of UK Youth through UK Youth Voice, a national steering board of young people who represent every region and nation in the UK. Last year one of the young people involved in this work tragically lost his brother to anxiety induced suicide, and he channelled all of the pain into something really productive. He set up his own organisation ‘The Delicate Mind’ aiming to eradicate the stigma attached to mental health in Black And Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. He is aiming to reach as many young people as possible to help them with their journey and alert them to sources of support if they are facing difficulties. Find out more here.

UK Youth and UK Youth Voice will be tweeting and sharing information today about mental health and suicide in young people to raise awareness of services available, especially for BAME communities.


What does the data say?

Backing up the importance of this issue, Key Data on Young People 2017 highlighted the data that we have about the prevalence of mental health in young people from different ethnic backgrounds. The last big survey in 2004 showed that the rates of mental health problems are higher in some ethnic minority groups. Key Data also stresses how inequalities can be compounded by other factors. For example young carers are 1.5 times more likely to be from ethnic minority backgrounds and Young Carers are 5.9x more likely to report their health as not being good.


Youth action – a key part of transforming YP mental health

Last year, UK Youth Voice delivered a Manifesto to the Prime Minister, collating thousands of young people’s views and one of the calls to action was improvements on mental health services for young people. We know that action is needed to promote young people’s mental health and welcome the focus in this area. Part of this must be listening to what young people want and supporting youth led initiatives as part of a whole system, whole community approach to better mental health and suicide reduction for all young people.

We polled 1,000 18-25-year-olds and found that young people spend more than six hours a day feeling stressed or worried. Money, appearance and career worries as well as fears about the future mean a large chunk of their time is spent feeling anxious or under pressure.

One in 10 young people feel they have no-one to turn to discuss their concerns, leaving them battling through alone.

A further 67 per cent admitted they had come across problems in their life where they felt they had nobody to lean on for help.

As a result, 56 per cent have ended up in more trouble after keeping a problem to themselves rather than confiding in someone else.

A spokesperson for UK Youth said: “It’s concerning to see just how long young people spend feeling worried or stressed and how many of them have to go through these issues alone, without anyone to turn to for advice and guidance.

“Despite living in our ever-connected world, young people need safe spaces more than ever. For many, their local youth club is the only place that provides them with a trusted adult to confide in and access to the advice, support and guidance needed to feel safe and build bright futures.

“But to stop young people feeling worried or stressed in a society where issues of grooming, online peer pressure, extremism and hate crimes are rising, many youth services need to be supported with additional safeguarding resources and training to #KeepMeSafe.”

That’s why we’ve launched our new #KeepMeSafe campaign, which calls on all organisations working with young people to Stop what they’re doing, Look at their safeguarding policies, Listen to young people and take action during National Safeguarding Month.

Our study also found that despite spending such a huge amount of time feeling concerned, the average young person has just four people they feel they could turn to for help.

And although 18-25-year-olds having an average of 165 ‘friends’ on social media, 85 per cent still have moments where they feel lonely.

In fact, more than 40 per cent think social media only adds to their worries and stress with more than half of those saying it leaves them feeling under more pressure to keep up with everyone.

Others say they struggle with the lack of privacy, (29%), the pressure to impress others (40%) and feeling like they need to make their live sound better than it really is (33%).

But our researchers found that even those who do have someone they can approach with a problem don’t always get the help they need with more than half admitting they have felt ‘fobbed off’ or ignored by someone.

And 68 per cent find it difficult to share problems in the first place.

This leads to more than six in 10 respondents being more likely to battle on alone than go to anyone else if they have a problem or need advice.

UK Youth’s spokesperson added: “Safeguarding has hit the headlines recently but it’s something we’ve been working to strengthen for a long time now. Research from our network and these new stats suggest the needs of young people have transformed in the last few years due to online/offline pressures and societal changes, which means an increased the level of support is needed to #KeepMeSafe.

“We’ve taken the positive approach to support our membership and work with colleagues across the youth sector to improve safeguarding and better support young people at a grass roots level in youth organisations across the UK. We’ve developed a safeguarding programme and assurance scheme to set a benchmark for youth organisations and support the delivery of a minimum level of practice consistent with operating a safe organisation.

“After the success of last year’s launch of National Safeguarding Month and in light of recent events, we hope our #KeepMeSafe campaign encourages all organisations working with young people take time to Stop what they’re doing, Look at their safeguarding policies, Listen to their young people and take action.”

#KeepMeSafe will run throughout National Safeguarding Month (from 1st-31st March) and is part of the Stop, Look, Listen campaign that we led last year and has been previously run by NCVYS for several years.

Find out more about #KeepMeSafe here.

For more information, please contact:

Emma Roberts, Head of Marketing and Communications, UK Youth: | 07455 554 690

To mark our merger with Ambition, UK Youth hosted a day of events in Parliament to announce our extended support for the youth sector.

The events, hosted at the House of Commons and House of Lords, were attended by the Minister of Sport & Civil Society, Tracey Crouch; Shadow Minister for Civil Society & Young People, Steve Reed and other high-profile MPs, and saw vibrant debates on the evolution of the youth sector, the need to tackle Britain’s social mobility problem and the importance of youth voices.

To kick start the day, we announced the findings of our State of the Membership report, which summarises UK Youth’s national consultation, following our merger with Ambition, and research with organisations working with young people across the country. The report highlights current youth sector workforce trends, the changing financial position of organisations and the challenges facing the sector.

The report found that the following challenges were evident for all organisations working with or for young people, regardless of their delivery model:

  1. Funding and sustainability of sector
  2. Having a voice and influencing policy at a national level
  3. Workforce recruitment & development (affording staff, training and development staff & volunteers)
  4. Accessing networking & collaboration opportunities
  5. Managing data & demonstrating impact

In light of this new research, today we announced our new commitment to the sector, created with and for our members. The new commitment focusses on five key areas:

  • Diversifying funding: Unlocking national and regional funding for grassroots programme delivery as well as supporting organisations working with young people to explore innovative and sustainable sources of income
  • Championing youth: Working with youth services and their young people to amplify issues affecting young people and the youth sector today to drive change on a national scale.
  • Strengthening quality: Supporting organisations working with young people to strengthen the quality of services they deliver through training, accreditation, resources and expert advice.
  • Harnessing impact: Being at the forefront of effective impact measurement to help youth services respond to changing needs in the sector and advocate the value of the work the youth sector does.
  • Building community: Bringing youth organisations together to collaborate and recognise excellence in each other’s services and maximising effectiveness on behalf of young people.

Our extension of support for the sector was well received at the launch event, which was attended by over 100 people representing the youth sector, key sector funders and MPs.

All organisations working with or for young people can join our movement and be part of something bigger. Find out more about our new membership offer here.


For more information, please contact:

Emma Roberts, Head of Marketing and Communications, UK Youth: | 07455 554 690

About UK Youth:

Founded in 1911, UK Youth provides young people aged 9-25 with high quality services, delivered through a network of locally accessible youth organisations across the UK. Together we offer support, advice and training to over four million young people to equip them with vital life skills and help them engage in education, volunteering and employment. Our mission is to provide access to appropriate, high quality services for young people in every community so that all young people are empowered to build bright futures, regardless of their background or circumstances.