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About us

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


The Network of Regional Youth Work Units (RYWUs) 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.


The Network aims to both support and strengthen the capacity of the youth sector,  sharing and promoting best practice. We collaborate with a range of national and regional organisations to develop new initiatives and joint partnerships for the benefit of youth work and young people. Through this  collaboration, we can extend the reach of our work, building the wider offer for the youth sector and through this improvingh outcomes for young people. 


Additionally, the Network provides a bridge between national policy and initiatives, and local policy and delivery – our focus is on developing two way communication processes, supporting new developments and sharing data and insight.​

Principles of the network 

Our principles and values for collaboration and alliances


Our approach to collaboration and alliances with other organisations 

The Network of Regional Youth Work Units work in partnership to ensure that there is coverage across all nine regions, sharing resources and expertise and building capacity. 


The Network collaborates across diverse partners with commissioners, providers and young people themselves to share information, develop skills and influence youth policy and practice. Aiming to ensure that the sector is well-informed, skilled and responsive to changes in government policies, in line with young people’s needs.


The Network regularly works with organisations with a national (and sometimes international) footprint, whose role is focused on supporting outcomes for young people and the youth sector. We aim to provide regional intelligence to national organisations as well as cascade out national developments and initiatives to support groups and youth work practice. 


We have well-established links with a range of national, regional and local groups, aiming to collaborate not duplicate services, our core focus is on improving outcomes for young people. 


Our Principles and Values 


As a Network we want to continue to develop collaboration and alliances with organisations that support youth work locally, regionally and nationally. We are pro-active in seeking, building and maintaining those partnerships underpinned by a set of principles and values which include:


  • Asset Based- we take an ‘asset-based’ approach to young people and collaboration, valuing the contribution of all partners, and recognising that young people and youth work will be best served by alliances that respect the different contributions each partner brings. We take a solution focused approach, taking into account the diversity of young people, the services they want and need, the environments and regions in which they are based

  • Respectful Partnerships - we want to building respectful alliances with transparency about roles and remits across collaborations, ensuring that any associated benefits of these partnerships and organisational priorities are firmly based on the needs of young people and the youth sector. 

  • Generous Leadership - we know that we can achieve more through collaborations and want to acknowledge the strengths all partners bring in terms of sharing resources, information and public profile associated with improving youth services and outcomes for young people. 


The Network of Regional Youth Work Units consists of independent organisations which differ considerably in scale and scope. We recognise that there will be regional variations in place in terms of the priorities, needs, focus and delivery on offer. We aim to work to the strengths of the various units, sharing resources and skills and we have a number of consistent areas we are all working on as illustrated here



The Network of Regional Youth Work Units have proved to be effective regional delivery partners in many projects led by national organisations, ranging from national youth voice initiatives with British Youth Council, through facilitating regional networks with Centre for Youth Impact and managing the delivery of the youth work bursaries scheme funded by DCMS via the National Youth Agency. Individual units have also led national partnership projects, such as the Youth Loneliness Project with Youth Focus North East and Authoring Our Own Stories hosted by Partnership for Young London.


The units are all independent organisations whose strength lies in collecting and analysing intelligence on the youth sector across the regions. We achieve this through the range of networks, and the partnerships we have developed across youth work organisations, local authorities, health partners, funders and policy makers.  We aim to use this regional intelligence to shape policy and practice solutions which directly impact on young people and the youth sector who support them.


The Network has representation on the following forums and working groups including:

  • JNC’s Education and Training Standards Committee England  (hosted by the NYA)

  • The National Youth Policy Advisory Group

  • Youth Voice DCMS

  • Institute for Youth Work

  • The Funders Collective

  • The Safeguarding Hub with the NYA

Additionally, they are represented across a range of regional networks and strategic partnerships, please their individual websites for more details. 

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