About Youth First
At Youth First we believe the relationships youth workers have with young people and the opportunities we provide are the key to helping young people enjoy their youth and develop the skills to ensure a positive future - for themselves and their communities.
Founded in 2016, Youth First spun out of Lewisham Council with the aim to sustain and grow youth work. We provide youth work to thousands of young people a year, with many of those seen on a regular basis.
Our “open door” provision allows for early intervention and is further supported by a street-based team and a number of other projects funded by our generous partners.
Put simply, we’re about putting Lewisham’s youth first.
We have over 30 directly employed staff working from five adventure playgrounds and five youth centres for young people aged 8-18. With partners we provide personal safety training, music, arts and theatre projects to thousands of young people every year.
Because Youth First uses the power of youth work and the trusted relationships workers develop with young people to support them to safely enjoy their youth and empower them with the skills required to form and realise their ambitions. In this way, we positively impact not just the young people we work with the but the communities and society they exist in.
At Youth First we:
- provide safe and practical activities that educate and empower
- help young people have fun, socialise, take risks, discover their own identities and acquire the life skills and self-confidence needed to lead happy and fulfilled adult lives
- facilitate programmes for young people which develop life skills
- give staff and young people a major voice in how we are run
- foster strong links with parents, schools and other community partners
- develop cost-effective work programmes based on the responsible use of limited resources
Put simply, our vision puts Lewisham’s youth first.
To get a good understanding of the year gone and our future plans and challenges, take a look at our annual report here.