Youth work with impact
All of our youth work is driven by what young people tell us they need. We don’t push any agenda other than helping young people to overcome the challenges and achieve the milestones that they have identified they need to reach their next positive stage in life. Our simple pledge is always to help young people to get the kinds of experience that will make a difference to them; experience they can’t get from home, school or college. When they succeed, we’re there to provide references and accreditation if they want it.
Detached youth work in the community
We work with young people on the streets of their own communities across West and South Yorkshire. The key focus of our street-based work is helping groups of young people who choose to use the streets and parks in their leisure time to make that time as useful and productive as possible. That could mean taking on a big outdoor challenge (like climbing a mountain), organizing a residential, cooking outdoors, supporting community cohesion by bringing different groups together, or helping young people to run social action projects that make a difference to their neighbourhoods.
Helping young people to take the lead
We think that young people are experts at being themselves. That means they are the people best placed to make decisions about the services that most affect them. Working in partnership with services that want to give young people more of a say, we run innovative participation programmes where young people are helped to shape what organisations do and how they do it. In this role, we are the youth inclusion partner for the West Yorkshire Talent Match partnership. We have also helped over 50 services and agencies in Yorkshire to improve through our Youth Approved young people’s inspection scheme. Our own Young Ambassador programme lets the young people we work with inform our Trustee Board about how we need to develop and more than half of our Trustees are under 22 and from the Ambassador group.
Supporting enterprising young people
Since 2014, we have been encouraging young people to think about themselves as potential entrepreneurs. We have been really keen to help young people from backgrounds and communities that don’t normally get this kind of encouragement to take self-employment seriously and our Young Upstarts training programme has reached over 3,000 young people and supported 60 young businesses to start. We encourage young people in local colleges to be more enterprising in the way they present themselves to employers and training providers through our Sell Me workshops.
Youth work training
There can be no good youth work without good youth workers. That’s why we train and accredit youth workers to nationally recognized Diploma qualifications and work closely with local universities to provide degree-level students with high quality work placements and supervision. We are a vital route for volunteers in the community to develop their youth work skills and to take their first steps into a career in youth work.