Youth Work is anything done with passion as a means to betterment and development in whatever form that may take. This can include practical things like working as a team and taking a leadership role, to more interpersonal or societal teachings such as responsibility, understanding consequences, gender roles, and diversity.

The purpose of Youth Work is to allow young people to accomplish any number of the following in a safe environment:

  • Explore their values and beliefs
  • Develop themselves
  • Acquire new skills
  • Gain knowledge and support
  • Build trusting relationships

There are five main types of Youth Work:

Centre-based Youth Work is carried out at a dedicated premises such as a coffee shop, sports facility, advice centre or youth club. Youth clubs are the most common type.

Faith-based Youth Work is carried out from a foundation of religious morals, with the purpose of sharing or engendering religious views aligned with the spiritual goals of the religious.

Detached Youth Work is a form of street-based Youth Work which can operated without the use of a centre. This usually takes place in areas where young people already are and encourages them to utilize existing services. It can also be a method of delivering informal and social education.

Outreach Youth Work is similar to detached. It is a form of Youth Work that takes place on a young person’s own territory and supports and compliments new and existing centre or project-based Youth Work. It is primarily used to inform young people of services that exist in their local area and to encourage them to use these services.

School-based Youth Work is carried out in schools and is provided directly to students. It is often funded by an organization outside of the school and can include lessons, assemblies, after-school clubs and one-to-on mentoring. This may also help to link young people with other non-school youth activities.

Youth Work can be seen as an essential part of some people’s upbringing and development. 91% of young people aged 11-18 attend a youth club of some variety, with 47% of 19-21 years olds and 30% of 22-25 year olds attending as well. These can be seen as the most important developmental stages of a young person’s life and having the support to help them through can be invaluable.

However, since 2010 local authorities have cut the funding for youth services by 70%, from £1.4 billion to just under £429 million by 2019. Of this cut, £26 million was in 2019 alone. The effects of this were seen throughout England, with all regions seeing cuts of over 60% since 2010. The areas most affected by this were the North West of England with a 74% cut in funding, the North East of England with a 76% cut in funding, and the West midlands which received an 80% cut in funding. In addition to this, the amount of funding cuts in smaller communities was felt much more, with areas like Gateshead, Nottingham and Norfolk receiving upwards of a 90% cut in funding, and Trafford, Medway, Luton and Slough having their funding cut completely. All of these cuts to funding have led to a loss of over 2500 Youth Work jobs and the closing of 760 youth centres since 2010. In addition, 99% of councils say they have seen at least one youth centre in their area close.

Between 2014 and 2018 there was a 51% drop in the number of youth centres supported by local authorities and a 42% drop in youth services staff. At the same time, the number of knife offences increased by 68%, 25,516 to 42,790, in correlation with the drop in support to youth centres. The areas most affected by this were the West Midlands with an 87% increase in knife crime, Cambridgeshire with a 95% increase and Thames Valley with a 99% increase.

In 2020, councils in England are said to have had access to £49.1 billion and have pointed to a new £500 million youth investment fund. In addition, the UK Youth Fund launched in November of 2020, a £2 million pot funded by the Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport, Pears Foundation and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation as part of a government Covid Relief charities package worth £750 million.

If you and your child are planning to get involved with us, please check out our Consent page below.

Youth Workers can play an important role in the development of young people by providing them with a role model who promotes the acceptance of everyone and allows them to open up and discuss issues. This can have a massively positive impact on the mental health of young people, giving them a sense of belonging and statistically showing that they are less likely to offend with a role model present in their life. We believe that youth workers are important mentors for young people who don’t already have a role model figure in their lives and we are looking to further expand our youth services with youth centres and events, talking to the community to find out more of what they are wanting in the local area.

Volunteers Needed for Chesterfield Youth Night

We made raspberry milkshakes, the kids ate a lot of them and took some home for their families, I took some round my local estate, we gave a bunch to the running club and any passers by and I also left some in the centres freezer so we can use them again next week. […]

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