About us

Established in 1989, Youth Focus: North East (formerly Regional Youth Work Unit – North East) is a regional hub connecting young people and the organisations and professionals who support them.

Progressive and dynamic, our award-winning organisation is rooted in the values of youth work. We support a network of over 1500 organisations and individuals concerned with improving the lives of young people. Supporting the development of quality services – we want young people to have the best from the organisations they access and the professionals who work with them.

We see the potential, not the problems, in young people. We develop responses and demonstration projects that attempt to address big issues in young people’s lives. We also create space for young people to explore different issues and ideas; working alongside them to formulate responses.

Youth Focus: North East amplifies the voice of young people so they can be heard and we open up doors to new opportunities for both young people and professionals across the North East.

For over 25 years, Youth Focus: North East has been working across the region to improve the lives of young people. We’ve always been based in the north of the region, calling Gateshead home for some time, but have actively been involved in delivery and strategy south of the region through our work with Stockton Borough Council on the local offer, work with the Stockton Youth Offending Team, and the Darlington Diamond Model.

In 2016, we recruited two full-time members of staff – Laura and Helen –
to coordinate and develop our work in Tees Valley, and the team now have new
office premises in the Cadcam Business Centre in Middlesbrough.

We currently carry out a range of projects in Tees Valley, including Reducing
the Skills Gap in partnership with the Youth Employment Initiative and funded by European Social Fund, Wellbeing Challenges, Young Changers NE, and Young Trainers.

Underlying values

  • We believe our work is a process of informal education aimed at developing personal, social and political awareness of young people.
  • We believe that young people have a right to be heard, and that professionals have an obligation to respond positively to issues raised by young people.
  • We believe in the potential of everyone, and that opportunity needs to be created for individuals to take on new challenges and develop personally and professionally.
  • We believe that equality of opportunity is more than just a phrase. We endeavour to actively challenge discriminatory policies and behaviour, promote good practice and emphasise the positive aspect of equal opportunities.
  • We believe that the voluntary nature of the relationship between professional and young person is at the heart of our practice.