Unfortunately, it’s often young people who suffer most during tough economic times
The activities they offer may have changed a little, but their purpose remains much the same. In 1863, Rev Arthur Sweatman said youth clubs provided “evening recreation, companionship, an entertaining but healthy literature, useful instruction, and a strong guiding influence to lead young people onward and upward socially and morally”. The language may be old-fashioned, but youth clubs still focus on the same vital things today.
Youth clubs give young people a low-cost place to go outside of school, offering them a sense of belonging. The activities and support from club leaders and volunteers allow young people to learn new skills and build confidence and resilience for the future, as well as have fun. Young people choose to go there, with youth clubs open to all young people.
There are around 11,000 youth clubs in England.
The 3,000 youth clubs that our members work with offer a huge range of activities. There is everything from boxing to dance, as well as clubs focusing on the environment, creative arts and leadership and work skills.
Relationships are also at the heart of youth clubs - both with friends and the adults who work there. For some young people, their relationship with their youth worker or club volunteer may be the only meaningful relationship they have with an adult – and it can be life changing.
Youth clubs offer something for everyone. We want to make sure every young person in the UK has access to a club that’s right for them.
13,500 volunteers help to run amazing youth clubs and projects in our network
90% of annual expenditure directly supports young people in local communities
80% of our national funding is given to members for local work