With a history spanning over a century, UK Youth is a leading national charity committed to ensuring all young people are empowered to build bright futures, regardless of their background or circumstances.
It’s our mission to provide all young people with access to appropriate, high quality services in their local community or online.
We sit at the heart of a national movement for change of Changemakers and Innovators, brought together through our merger with Ambition, to support an estimated one and a half million young people across the UK. Together with our network, we offer support, advice and training to equip young people with the vital life skills needed to engage in education, volunteering and employment
Underpinning everything we do are three core values:
- we work with young people on their terms
- we are committed to working in partnerships
- we advocate on behalf of young people and the sector
We work with young people across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland through our Nation Partners: Youth Scotland, Youth Cymru and Youth Action Northern Ireland. The majority of the young people we work with are aged 8-24, primarily from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The most common personal barriers reported by young people in our network were:
How we reach them
The young people we work with are encouraged and supported to get involved with our work voluntarily. They typically find out about us through the local youth organisations in our network, their friends and family, our staff team, or via referral partners (including schools, social services, the police, the NHS, and other local service providers).
How we offer support
Through our delivery model, we are able to strengthen and grow local services to offer advice, support and guidance to young people by:
UK Youth was founded in 1911 as the National Organisation of Girls Clubs (NOGC) to support clubs for girls and woman working in factories
In 1925 Ambition was founded as the National Association of Boys’ Clubs (NABC)
In the 1950s, we started informal discussions with Ambition about potentially merging
In the 40s and 50s, our work expanded to support mixed clubs. During this time we were known under many different names before becoming the National Association of Youth Clubs (NAYC) in 1961
In the 70s and 80s, our focus grow to working with groups of young people who were unemployed, came from ethnic minorities or were based in rural areas
Since the 1980s, we have been involved in developing new areas of youth work, including targeted work, outreach programmes, innovative place based initiatives and social action.
In 1987, we changed to Youth Clubs UK
In 2001, we renamed again to UK Youth to celebrate our 90th anniversary and better reflect our focus on the lives of young people
In 2015, Ambition officially merged with CHYPS to support Local Authority services
In 2016, Ambition and NCVYS merged to better support the youth sector
In 2017, we officially merged with Ambition after more than 60 years of discussions to better support the youth sector