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Leading charities and funders join together on new alliance for shared measurement


YMCA George Williams College has today announced a new sector-wide alliance, bringing together leading voices and practices in shared measurement to evidence the impact of quality youth work. The Youth Work Evidence Alliance (YWEA) will bring together a group of ‘torchbearers’, representing the funding community, infrastructure bodies, practitioners and local authorities, with the goal of transformative, collaborative action in collating, sharing, and reflecting on data about the impact of youth work.

Underpinning the work of the Alliance is a common understanding: high quality youth work changes lives. It can grow young people’s social and emotional skills, support their physical and mental wellbeing, foster their ability to form and sustain positive relationships, build their connections to the world of work, and enable their active engagement in communities. But evidencing the impact of youth work on the lives of young people – and the communities in which they live – can be challenging. This holds the youth work sector back, limiting opportunities to celebrate and advocate for the transformative potential of youth work, undermining learning from data and evidence, and driving the constant need to make the case for resources.

Many have recognised these issues. Youth work delivery organisations, local authorities, commissioners, funders and researchers have all been involved in a range of initiatives focused on evidence, impact and data over recent years. But too often, efforts are short-lived, fragmented, poorly communicated and/or difficult to implement.

The YWEA will aim to galvanise the sector’s energies and provide a focal point for shared interests, working to establish youth work’s impact as a collective endeavour, building consensus and common approaches through collaboration.

Together, the Alliance will:

  • Bring current strands of activity together to reduce duplication and promote alignment;
  • Inform developments in shared measurement to ensure they’re meaningful and feasible to use in practice, across a range of settings;
  • Identify and progress a shared evidence agenda; and
  • Communicate about and advocate for existing tools and resources to support widespread uptake.

Founding members of the YWEA organisations include: BBC Children in Need, the Institute for Youth Work, London Youth, the National Association of Boys and Girls Clubs, the National Citizen Service Trust, The National Lottery Community Fund, National Youth Agency, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Research in Practice, UK Youth, Woodcraft Folk, the Youth Endowment Fund, Youth Focus: North East, and Youth Moves. YMCA George Williams College, with support from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, will act as secretariat and convenor of the Alliance.

Members of the Alliance are fully committed to working together to achieve a transformational vision for shared impact measurement.

For more information: Contact Bethia McNeil, Director of the Centre for Youth Impact.




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About YMCA George Williams College

At YMCA George Williams College, our vision is for a just and equitable society that invests in support for all young people to learn, grow, and explore their relationships with the world around them. Established in 1970, the College works to provide transformational support to practitioners, funders, and policy makers across the sector, to improve the quality and impact of provision and outcomes for children and young people across the UK. This support is characterised by safe spaces, high quality socio-emotional skill development opportunities, and relationships with trusted adults.

As part of its work, the College now hosts three centres of expertise: the Centre for Quality Practice, focusing on developing skilled practitioners who can deliver high quality youth provision; the Centre for Youth Impact, which supports organisations to evidence their impact and continually improve their youth provision and offer to young people and communities, and the Centre for Youth Voice, which advocates for and supports a stronger role for the voices of young people in evaluation and continuous quality improvement.