About us

UK Youth is a leading charitythat exists to ensure young people are equipped to thrive and empowered to contribute at every stage of their lives. As an organisation, we make certainthat the youth sector is strengthened, supported, and that provision is youth-led and informed by high-quality evidence.

There are more than 11 million young people in the UK, they make up over a fifth of the population and represent Britain’s future. They are the next generation of workers and leaders of society and yet they are facing a range of significant barriers to success.

Lack of investment in the youth sector, and a lack of understanding of how youth work makes a difference, leads to mass inequality of access to support for young people. For many young people, their youth worker is the only person they openly talk to, and their youth club is the only space they have to develop their skills, explore their character and realise their full potential.

Working with a 7,000 strong network of youth organisations, which make up the UK Youth Movement, we are uniquely placed to strengthen the sector. This accelerates the positive impact on young people by capturing, sharing and embedding learning and evidence across all those working with young people.

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

Our reach:

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:

Our History

1911 1911
1925 1925
1950s 1950s
1961 1961
1970 1970
1980 1980
1987 1987
2001 2001
2015 2015
2016 2016
2017 2017


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