; About the Youth Club or Group - Youth Work Essentials

The key to a successful youth group is the people involved. The structures of youth groups vary tremendously: 

  • Some youth groups are entirely volunteer led, with a voluntary management committee and adult volunteer leaders. 
  • Other youth groups are led and run by a mix of volunteers and paid staff, including a voluntary management committee, full or part time paid youth workers, and a team of adult volunteer leaders. 
  • It is also likely that young people will take on responsibilities with a youth group as young leaders.  
  • And, some youth groups will have been set up by young people and are youth-led.

Who is youth work for?

Youth work is focused on the 11-25 year age group with an emphasis on 11-18 year olds. There is also a recognition that youth work needs to connect with activities which focus on children under 11.

Many youth groups run different clubs to cater for the needs of different age groups. This also provides a progression for young people as their needs and interests change.

How are youth clubs and groups organised?

Most often a youth group will be organised in a democratic way, where an elected Management Committee or board of volunteers oversees the youth group. The Management Committee may be made up of existing volunteers, young people, local officials (such as the council or the police) and other relevant people.

A youth group may also have a youth committee or young people’s advisory group or forum, which is important for ensuring that the youth group is youth–led.

What activities are available?

Activities are very important for nearly every youth group. Generally, an activities programme is planned after discussion with the young people to meet the needs and interests of the different age groups.

Activities can be used to provide fun and enjoyment, to engage young people and enable them to develop and learn new skills. Most importantly, activities provide a foundation for young people to develop to their full capacity.

Get more information about youth work activities.

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