What we do

What we do


We work with and on behalf of youth organisations

We’re proud to facilitate a vibrant movement of people and organisations to stand with young people and campaign for them to have equal access to high quality services in their community, regardless of their background or circumstances.

Our movement for change is led by Changemakers and Innovators and builds on our existing network of 3,536 youth organisations and services, estimated to support 1.5 million young people, to create a powerful community committed to building bright futures for young people.

Changemakers can join the movement for free. UK Youth provides free support, training and networking opportunities to empower them to achieve our collective aims. Innovators collaborate with UK Youth on developing and growing the movement, as well as providing leadership and support to Changemakers in their local area or nationally.

Through a range of exciting events and activities, we give Changemakers and Innovators the tools to bring about social change. We will bring our national perspective on youth services, the views of young people from across the UK, and our strong cross sector partnerships, to underpin and strengthen the movement.

We support youth organisations ranging from regional infrastructure organisations and statutory or voluntary local youth groups delivering on-the-ground support to local authority-led services and national charities working with and for young people.

We’re committed to working with our movement in five key areas, as shown on the diagram.

People and organisations working with or for young people can join our movement and be part of something bigger.

We run world-class skills development programmes

We have established a strong reputation for delivering high quality, large scale skills development programmes for young people from predominantly disadvantaged backgrounds. From outdoor learning to money management, we reach and engage young people who don’t traditionally have access to personal development opportunities.

We work with organisations and young people in our movement to ensure all our programmes meet their changing needs. We use this insight to build high-profile partnerships to co-create and deliver innovative, accessible, funded opportunities for young people to empower them to engage with employment, volunteering or training.

To ensure there’s something for every young person, we deliver our programmes in five key interest areas. Click on the circles below to find out more:

We advocate on behalf of the youth sector

With a movement supporting thousands of youth organisations, we’re in prime position to understand the varying needs of young people and the sector, and advocate on their behalf.

Our 2018 report, which was compiled through a national consultation with our movement, highlights common challenges faced by youth organisations, regardless of their delivery model. These include:

It’s our role to raise awareness for these issues and advocate for more support.

Our report also showcased the need for a national representative of the wider youth sector. To ensure a common voice, we work with closely with our members, MPs and the government to collaborate, recognise excellence, highlight challenges and maximise effectiveness to showcase the pivotal role youth services play in today’s society.

We champion youth engagement

Involving young people in the design and delivery of UK Youth’s activities and empowering them to become active citizens and create positive change is embedded throughout our work. We provide support to organisations and services who want to involve young people in their decision-making processes through our training and consultancy.

We also run a Youth Advocacy Collective, a dynamic collaboration of experts providing a space to support and champion national conversations that strengthen local practice to ensure young people are at the heart of decision making locally and nationally.

UK Youth Voice is a group of young people aged 16-25 who represent each region and nation in the UK to shape the services of UK Youth and influence decision makers to listen to the views of young people on issues that are important to them. They are fundamental to everything we do, feeding into our strategy and direction.

As well as providing us with unique insight into their changing needs, UK Youth Voice empowers young people with a platform to amplify youth voices and the opportunity to get involved with policy work, fundraising and programme design.

As an example of a UK Youth Voice activation, after the EU Referendum, UK Youth Voice undertook extensive research with young people from across the UK to identify the issues affecting young people. They used this insight to create a Youth Voice Manifesto and outline five policy calls:

The UK Youth Voice Manifesto was presented to the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street and has received widespread, cross-party support. In July 2018, we brought 90 young people to the Houses of Parliament for the day to celebrate the Manifesto’s success and discuss policy movements in the last year.

We promote and deliver outdoor learning

We are extremely proud of our leading outdoor centre, Avon Tyrrell, based in the heart of the New Forest. The unique and beautiful site featuring a Grade I listed calendar house and 65 acres of land is dedicated to the continuous development of young people and has successfully provided outdoor learning opportunities to 22,052 visitors last year.

Our historic centre creates adventures that enable young people to build bright futures, leaving them with incredible memories and essential life skills. Through outdoor learning, tailored programmes, apprenticeships and traineeships, disability and wellbeing weekends and bursary schemes, Avon Tyrrell recognises and rewards achievements made outside the classroom, providing the opportunity for everyone to experience, learn and develop.

Avon Tyrrell is also home to our apprentice programme, which provides young people with hands on learning, giving young people the skills and recognised qualifications they need to succeed in the outdoor industry. Our apprenticeships go beyond the basic framework, providing additional training and qualifications to ensure these young apprentices have the skills and qualifications for future careers beyond Avon Tyrrell.