A partnership with Musinc, to create a ‘free space’ for young people aged 10 - 16 in Middlesbrough with a key focus around music.

Amplify aims to build and develop youth voice within the Musinc project, break down barriers for young people in accessing Middlesbrough Town Hall and its facilities, create a neutral space free of expectations for young people to share interests, thoughts and ideas on music and culture and encourage engagement with other young people from a range of backgrounds.

British Youth Council

British Youth Council

As part of our work with British Youth Council (BYC) we work with all 12 local authorities in the North East to support the local leads and Members of Youth Parliament (MYPs) with campaigns, holding events and the link to national work. A Steering group of members prepare and deliver branded regional events involving local decision makers. Young people get to carry out public speaking, presentations and understand and plan advocacy activities. MYPs get to go to annual conferences and visit the House of Commons.

Feast of Fun

Feast of Fun

Feast of Fun is a partnership of local churches, community groups and schools that offer holiday activities with healthy food across Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland. The funding has been received during the summer, Easter and October half term holidays for the past three years, which enables us to provide our youth support service and providing food for young people over the half term.

Great North Childrens Hospital

Great North Children's Hospital

A partnership between Youth Focus North East and the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NUTH), has resulted in new roles for two youth workers to work with young people and young adults (age 16-25) with diabetes, within the Great North Children's Hospital. This is part of an exciting project funded by NHS England to transform the long-term health and social outcomes of young people with Diabetes, helping to promote the social development of young patients aged 16-25 years via a range of activities, combining education with enjoyment, challenge resilience and learning.

Alongside this project, a further Youth Worker will support young patients across the hospital with the aim of improving the advocacy for groups of patients currently under represented, assisting in the transition to adult and tertiary care, accompanying young people to hospital appointments and undertaking support work on the wards.

Holiday Activity Fund

Holiday Activity Fund

Holiday Activity Fund (HAF) pays for youth provision sessions which run during the school holidays offering free, fun activities and food to children and young people aged 5 to 16 years. HAF understand that the school holidays can be a challenging time for parents. Middlesbrough Council on behalf of the Holiday Activity Fund have granted us funding over Easter, summer and Christmas to support young people to engage in positive activities, physical activity and providing a hot nutritious meal over a time which to some can be very difficult.

North Ormesby Big Local

North Ormesby

Our North Ormesby youth provision provides a weekly safe and fun space for young people aged 10 - 18, to develop friendships and life skills. Our provision supports young people from getting involved in risk taking behaviours and giving them opportunities to raise their aspirations and hope for their futures. Having this space space is important to the young people, and they are doing a lot of positive work within their community and area.

Our sessions include a range of activities chosen weekly by the young people; cooking being a notably large part of their learning in North Ormesby, as well as learning about each other's cultures through food, music, and art.

Pallister Park - Postitive Pathways

Pallister Park
Positive Pathways

Funded by Children in Need, Positive Pathways delivers youth activities for young people living in East Middlesbrough. This project provides new and fun experiences through open access and 1-1s to explore opportunities, raise aspirations, be positively challenged and be supported to be the decision makers of their own pathway.

This is a community project based in the Pallister Park Centre with and for young people of East Middlesbrough. Youth Focus North East offers a safe and fun space for young people aged 10 to 18 to develop friends and skills in an informal educational manner.

Park End - Pop N Drop

Park End
Pop N Drop

Based in the Park End area of Middlesbrough, is delivered from the skate park located at the heart of the ward. Funded by Rooted In Nature, Sport England and Tees Valley Sports, this provision has been running for the past two years and has been described by young people as ‘like a family’; young people tell us ‘we love coming, it’s so much fun!’

The opportunities we provide within the sessions include topics such as: the importance of a healthy lifestyle, cooking workshops, positive emotional wellbeing, and isolation and loneliness. Our young people also have the chance to take part in social action projects to give back to the wider community.

Peer Action Collective

Peer Action Collective

The Youth Endowment Fund Peer Action Collective (PAC) is a peer research programme running nationwide with 9 regions in England and one in Wales. Youth Focus North East are proud to be the lead delivery partner for the North East region. As the lead partner we invited other organisations from across the North East to help us deliver this project, enabling us to run the project in urban, rural and coastal areas. Partner organisations each host one Peer Researcher, aged between 16-20. The aim is for these Peer Researchers to investigate youth violence in their communities; with the intention that this will then be used to produce social action projects.

This project has produced a range of high quality research and, more importantly, high quality social action based on the reliable research outcomes. Young people involved have learnt valuable skills which they can take into their working life.

Rowlands Gill

Rowlands Gill
Based in the Rowlands Gill area of Gateshead, we run a youth space in partnership with Our Lives Gateshead CIC and are partly funded by European Metal Recycling (EMR). The youth space is run in the Carers Trust Building every Tuesday evening.

Our youth space aims to provide a safe space for young people aged 10-18 where they have the opportunity to develop new friendships and learn new life skills through our wide range of activities. At Rowlands Gill our weekly sessions are themed where we aim to informally educate the young people based on that theme. A short example of themes we have had are Cultural awareness week, Wildlife week, Science week, Disability awareness week, and so many more.



Streetlaw involves law students going into schools and youth groups to inform young people about legal issues using practical and interactive teaching methods. Since 2011 we have had the pleasure of working with Newcastle University to support their own Street Law project. The project develops and evolves every year, led by the student Street Law Ambassadors (SLAs).

The SLAs have developed materials on legal issues such as police powers, access to legal advice, rights at school, street drinking and transitions into adulthood.

As a key partner on the project, Youth Focus North East delivers bespoke interactive training sessions to undergraduate students from Newcastle Law School on effectively working with young people. The training enables them to become SLAs, delivering discussion and awareness sessions to groups of children and young people in the region. We have recently provided an additional peer mentoring support service included within the training and programme delivery.

Tommy's Pop Up Park Space

Tommy's Pop Up Park Space

Based in the Thorntree Ward of Middlesbrough and is delivered in Partnership with St Thomas Church based in Brambles Farm and Thorntree. This project is funded by the You’ve Got This Partnership, Middlesbrough Council and Tees Valley Community Foundation.

Our youth work provision provides a safe space for young people aged 10 to 18 to develop friendships and life skills in an informal educational manner. Our sessions are themed around the personal challenges young people face, including deprivation, mental health, employability, risk-taking behaviour, and improving their physical activity.

Some of our key findings from speaking with young people about their experiences is that they are dealing with issues such as feelings of loneliness, having missed opportunities to learn informally, and feeling as if they have no voice or opportunity to be heard. This feedback has shaped the life lessons programme to ensure that all young people’s needs can be met in a safe, fun and engaging way.

Young Boro Champions

Young Boro Champions

Young Boro Champions is a group of young people from East Middlesbrough who are exploring the challenges faced by their community, in order to find their own solutions and make lasting change.

Through this project we enable young people to explore ideas and the challenges facing their community, raise their aspirations, be supported to be the decision makers, manage a larger budget, take the next step in their social action journey and encourage more young people to be involved.

Young Inspectors

Young Inspectors

The Young Inspectors is a programme set up for young people across Middlesbrough and Redcar to ensure young people’s voices are heard within services and programmes. The Young Inspectors are made of young people from different backgrounds and abilities who conduct inspections of local services. They produce reports with recommendations for the service, covering what works well, what does not work well and what can be done to make things better.

The programme allows the young person’s voice to be heard on the services that are being developed and offered, in order to ensure that the programme is not only meeting the requirements set out by the DfE but is developing in the right direction for those children, young people and their families that access the provision. The Young Inspectors programme allows the young people who train in this role to develop skills and experience opportunities that can be carried forward into their future. Training for the Young Inspectors is in the form of interactive activity workshops and planning meetings around upcoming inspections.


ABC Level 2 Award in Youth Work Practice

Youth Focus North East is delivering the ABC Level 2 Award in Youth Work Practice.

The course is open to Youth Work practitioners, over 16 years old, who are working in a paid or voluntary capacity with young people between the ages of 11 to 25 years old and delivering on a regular basis in a youth work setting. A course requirement is that all learners have the opportunity to put their learning into practice and they have an identified supervisor within their organisation who can support them during the training.

The ABC Level 2 Award in Youth Work Practice covers the units:

Theory of Youth Work
Young People’s Development

The course assessment is by written assignments and learners will develop a portfolio of knowledge and skill. The course is recognised by the National Youth Agency and qualifies learners as an assistant youth support worker. The qualification embraces the National Occupational Standards for Youth Work and develops good practice at Level 2.

Astra Foundation + Co-op Foundation

The Belong Collective aims to be a cross sector network, which is focused on connecting practitioners to share learning, challenges, good practice, and new thinking about youth loneliness. The focus of this work is wider than just the youth sector – supporting those who work and engage with young people to consider youth loneliness and embed effective solutions to tackle it.

In Partnership with UK Youth;

Youth Focus North East are leading the work to co-design resources and deliver training which will enable practitioners to support young people to articulate feelings of loneliness, explore their emotions around this challenging issue and develop practical actions that begin to help young people take positive steps forward.

The aims of the Belong Collective are:

Cross-sector, joined up working

To help identify young people who may be hidden to youth services and also provide referral pathways where further support is needed.

Targeted support

To support Youth Workers with training and resources in reaching out to young people experiencing loneliness.

Bring together youth-centred resources

To provide opportunities for young people to connect through providing safe spaces, youth-centred peer support and detached youth work.

Tackling Youth Loneliness and Isolation Report - 15 March 2023

Led by Youth Focus North East, The Regional Impact Network is open to any organisation working with young people in the North East of England that has an interest in developing their impact measurement practice.

The Impact Network is supported by the Centre for Youth Impact (CYI) and is one of seven Regional Impact Networks across the country.
The network exists to support youth organisations to undertake meaningful evaluation and impact measurement. It does this by providing a ‘safe space’ in which members can share issues or challenges that they are facing in their work, seek advice from peers, and access support that enables them to develop solutions that work for them and that will inform their practice.

We aim to support network members to:

Be better able to assess, appraise and interpret evidence.
Strive to improve the quality of the evidence that they are gathering and use that evidence to inform practice.
Be more confident in applying their technical skills and knowledge to plan and undertake meaningful evaluations.

Collectively, we want to hold each other to account on:

Ensuring that we keep young people at the centre of any impact measurement and evaluation.
Improving the quality of the evaluations we undertake.
Using the findings from any impact measurement and evaluation to inform ongoing delivery and practice.

To sign up to join the Regional Impact Network for the North East contact

The Network of Regional Youth Work Units: England brings together independent organisations working across the youth work sector at regional level within the nine English regions.

Regional Youth Work Units act as hubs for developing and supporting youth work in their regions, working with commissioners, providers and young people themselves to ensure the sector is well-informed, skilled and responsive to changes in government policies and young people’s needs.

Youth Focus North East is proud to be the Regional Youth Work Unit (RYWU) for the North East of England.

The Network supports and strengthens the capacity of RYWUs, sharing and promoting best practice. We work with a range of national and regional organisations to develop new initiatives and joint partnerships for the benefit of youth work and young people.
In addition, the Network provides a bridge between national policy and initiatives, and local policy and delivery – enabling communication and supporting new developments.

The North East Youth Alliance (NEYA) has been created to support the development and sustainability of the people and the organisations working to improve the lives of young people across the region. Our ambition is to support a culture shift across the sector – to get people in the youth and community sector thinking and working differently.

The overall outcomes for the NEYA are:

Improved capacity, collaboration and coordination in the youth sector leading to improved youth provision in the region,
Increased influence of young people’s voices in shaping of services,
Increased sustainability of services and support for and with young people.

Access Unlimited

Youth Focus North East in partnership with Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC), The Albion Foundation, Henshaws, Kent Association for the Blind and Young Bristol, with the aim of reaching 700 Visually Impaired Children & Young People (VI CYP), enabling them to take control of their lives and establish social connections within their local communities.

Activities will ensure access to a full range of services through continuation and growth of RSBC’s Families First service combined with a programme of capacity building for mainstream youth providers equipping them with the knowledge and skills to include VI CYP and their families in their provision.

The project will be delivered over two years between 1 Dec 2022 and 31 Nov 2024. 

In the first year we will:

  • Establish a project steering group; finalise delivery plans; appoint an independent evaluator; agree the project’s monitoring and evaluation framework.
  • Capacity build local organisations – including mainstream providers – so that they are able to include VI CYP within their existing service provision.
  • Rolling weekly group activity programme for 350 VI CYP covering physical activity, creative/arts, confidence building, independence skills, democracy/participation; supplemented by personalised one to one support to identify personal goals; track progress; provide mentorship.
  • Capacity build 100 local organisations – including mainstream providers – so that they are able to include VI CYP within their existing service provision.
  • Adapt the project in line with learning from interim evaluation; share learning among networks and with the National Lottery Fund.

In year two we will:

  • Provide a rolling programme of weekly group activities for 350 VI CYP covering sport/physical activity, creative/arts, confidence building, independence skills, democracy and participation.
  • Provide personalised one to one support: through named staff who will work with each CYP to identify personal goals; signpost them into the most appropriate activities; track progress; provide mentorship.
  • Capacity build 150 local organisations – including mainstream providers – so that they are able to include VI CYP within their existing service provision.
  • Conduct final independent evaluation; share learning among networks and with the National Lottery Fund.

Youth Focus North East will be facilitating links across the Network of Regional Youth Work Units (NRYWU) to deliver capacity building training in support of the overall project activity:

  • Publicising the availability of capacity building training to their membership. Training youth organisations with them delivering to YP.
  • Deliver accredited capacity building training to 100 organisations across 6 regions.
  • Accreditation of Capacity Building Training as a CPD module for youth workers.

Project its work, capacity building opportunities and outcomes, facilitating further links within the local communities served and beyond, ensuring the cascading of learning through local and regional networks.

The North East Youth Alliance are working collaboratively with Culture Bridge NE, over 2023-25, to build closer relationships between the culture and youth sectors.

Together, we want to build stronger, sustainable strategic links between our respective sectors. Our aim is to foster a greater mutual understanding, enable the workforce in both sectors to learn from one another, give young people a greater voice in decision-making and to work towards a more joined-up offer for children and young people across the North East. This work is delivered as a partnership between Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums and the North East Youth Alliance.

Some of the key anticipated outcomes include;

  • CPD sessions held for the Youth and Culture Sector.
  • Networking sessions held to bring together workers across the sectors.
  • Action research pilot projects completed, with findings shared more widely across both sectors and recommendations for future working made.

This initiative is funded from Arts Council England and is for the purpose of delivering the outputs below.

  1.  NEYA membership associated with the cultural sector increased from 26 to 70 by March 2024, with targets for the second year set after first year of activity.
  2.  6 CPD sessions held for youth sector in the first year, with targets for the second year set after first stage of activity.
  3.  6 CPD sessions held for cultural sector in the first year, with targets for the second year set after first stage of activity.
  4.  4 networking sessions held to bring together workers across the youth and cultural sectors in the first year, with targets for the second year set after first stage of activity.
  5.  5 action research pilot projects completed, with findings shared more widely across both sectors and recommendations for future working made.
  6.  4 Local Cultural Education Partnerships working meaningfully with Local Youth Partnerships and/ or the NEYA Youth Board.

Case Studies

project 5

Following the successful completion of the distribution of Christmas hampers to nominated people in the TS3 area, it was agreed we would join the Youth Focus North East youth club in Thorntree to deliver our next social action project.

research and social action portfolio

Funded by the Youth Endowment Fund, the #iwill Fund and the Co-op group, PAC is a pioneering network of peer researchers and changemakers across 10 regions in England and Wales. The North East cohort is composed of 11 peer researchers, 12 separate charity organisations and over 150 change makers. From September 2021 to March 2023, those young researchers have conducted ground-breaking research to find out about young people’s experiences of violence and their views on how they can help make their communities better places to live, work and grow as well as impactful social action projects based on their results.


Sessional Youth Workers