Who we are

Who we are


About us

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:

Who we 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:

Low income family Not in employment, education or training (NEET) Special educational needs (SEN) Young carer Mental health challenges

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:

2020 vision

By 2020, our aim is to create a movement of youth organisations committed to supporting young people from all backgrounds and circumstances to build bright futures. Together we will ensure access to appropriate, high quality services for all young people in every community.

To achieve our 2020 aim, we are working to ensure:

Young people access support in their community or online

Young people develop life skills

Young people engage with training, volunteering or employment

Our impact

All our programmes are designed with a clear understanding of the learning and outcomes we hope young people will achieve. In addition to the programme specific skills and knowledge they gain, we also measure emotional and social capabilities (ESC). These capabilities are sometimes referred to as life skills and include communication, self-awareness, resilience, motivation, receptiveness, confidence and responsibility.

Through our programmes, we measure young people’s pre and post ESCs to ensure we’re creating impact and empowering young people with the skills they need to engage with employment, volunteering and training.

Through the evaluation of young people’s pre and post ESCs, we’ve found that our programmes consistently deliver high impact to young people who begin our programme reporting low life skills:

The UK Youth Social Development Journey

The UK Youth Social Development Journey provides a framework to support and empower young people to develop life skills.

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

Our people

Catriona Bryden
Catriona Bryden
Interim Director of External Affairs
Lady Anne Stoneham MBE
Lady Anne Stoneham MBE
Chair of Trustees

Lady Anne Stoneham MBE has been our chair since 2014, and been on the board since 1988

Nigel Mansell CBE
Nigel Mansell CBE

The former motor racing champion became President in 1999 and continues to work tirelessly to promote the charity. Nigel has taken on a host of fundraisers raising over £1 million for UK Youth.

HRH The Princess Royal
HRH The Princess Royal

HRH, Patron since 2003, makes a number of personal appearances each year on behalf of UK Youth, and has a genuine understanding and passion of the positive impact UK Youth has on young peoples lives

Maddie Dinwoodie
Maddie Dinwoodie
Interim CEO
Patrick Shaw-Brown
Patrick Shaw-Brown
Director of National Programmes
Lindsay Marsden
Lindsay Marsden
Director of Partnerships and Fundraising
David Watts
David Watts
Director of Operations and Avon Tyrrell
Alan Carr
Alan Carr
Director of Finance

Our partners

None of the work we do would be possible without our partners.

Our governance

We are a charitable company limited by guarantee incorporated and registered in England under company number 05402004. We were founded in 1911, as the National Organisation of Girls Clubs. Over the years, we have changed our name several times, most recently to UK Youth, in celebration of our 90th anniversary in 2001.

We’re governed by our Memorandum and Articles of Association and detailed regulations made under the Articles.

Our registered office address is; UK Youth, Avon Tyrrell Activity Centre, Braggers Lane, Bransgore, Hampshire, BH23 8EE.

We’re registered with the Charity Commission under number 1110590.