Our History

1925: Ambition begins life as the National Association of Boys' Clubs (NABC)

Back then, most boys left school at 14, and only had the streets as a place to get together after work. Boys’ and Lads’ Clubs gave them somewhere to go and something to do, especially in deprived areas. The national association strengthened the work of these vital clubs.

1925-1939: NABC grows quickly. By 1930, 17 local federations had joined bringing 944 clubs with them.

1939-45: Despite the war, NABC keeps going strong and contributes to the war effort. The biggest challenge NABC faced was losing club leaders as they went off to war. The association also had problems finding funding and some youth facilities were taken over.

However, many clubs began new activities to help the war effort, including setting up canteens for soldiers and digging shelters. Some clubs opened their premises as makeshift schools. Boys Clubs’ also helped children evacuated from the cities to settle into their new homes and make friends.

1970s and 1980s: NABC continues to grow, despite a difficult economy, public spending and grants cuts and high unemployment. With youth clubs around the UK, NABC played an important part in helping young people into work. At the same time NABC’s volunteering projects gave those out of work an escape from their worries and a chance to learn new skills to help them find paid work.

1992-2012: In 1992, NABC officially changes its name to NABC-Clubs for Young People, to reflect that its clubs are no longer just for boys. In 1999, this changed again to the National Association of Clubs for Young People and in 2005 to Clubs for Young People. In 2012, our new name became Ambition, reflecting our drive to make the UK’s youth clubs as successful as possible.

80% said their youth club helped them to know right from wrong

3500 youth clubs and youth projects supported by our members

90 years on and young people are still supported by Ambition

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