The Youth Work Unit Yorkshire and the Humber was first established in 1998 as an unincorporated association by the 15 Local Authority Youth Services which make up the Yorkshire and Humber region, with the aim of helping to develop voluntary and statutory youth services and youth work provision, adding value and bringing a strategic and regional dimension to the work, creating a structure under which economic and practical benefits would accrue through the delivery of joint and shared initiatives. A broad range of local voluntary umbrella bodies (Councils of Voluntary Youth Services and Youth Associations or equivalents); regional sections of national voluntary youth organisations and regional youth work Higher Education Training Institutions also joined and became partners. In 2002 the Unit became a Company limited by guarantee and in May 2003 a Charity. This provided a clear legal status and enhanced accountability. Subsequent Annual Reports highlight key achievements and benefits of the YWU’s work to the region over a sustained period. The Unit is a Regional Infrastructure Organisation working with all who deliver services with and for young people in the Yorkshire and Humber area, offering support, advice and guidance and helping organisations and individuals to develop and improve their youth work practice.
The YWU Y&H provides support the Youth Sector, through providing fortnightly e-bulletins, representing the region on various forums and facilitating a range of regional networks including; Participation Workers – delivered in partnership with the British Youth Council, LGBT Workers, Trainers, Higher Education Providers, Leadership and the Impact network delivered in partnership with the Centre for Youth Impact.
In addition, the YWU Y&H delivers the British Youth Council UK Youth Parliament regional offer, in partnership with the Regional Youth Steering Group.
Over the past two years the YWU Y&H has supported a multi regional group of young people to develop a project exploring devolution and the development of the Northern Powerhouse and its possible impact on the lives of young people, using Erasmus+ key action 3 monies. The NPH Youth Steering Group have identified a range of cross regional issues to explore with policy makers reflecting the theme of the NPH; transport, health – mental health in particular, access to apprenticeships, career guidance and improved education and increased youth voice in decision making processes.