Youth and Community Work
Stroud District Council deliver youth and community work with and for young people across the district.
A small team of specialist youth and community workers deliver a youth service, mainly focusing (but not exclusively) on youth participation projects and programmes with and for young people in their communities. This team typically works in partnership with various SDC officers, including Neighbourhood Wardens, plus many other community stakeholders across the district.
The key focus of youth work is to;
'Enable young people to develop holistically, working with them to facilitate their personal and educational development, to enable them to develop their voice, influence and place in society and to reach their full potential’. Youth Work National Occupational Standards (2019): www.nya.org.uk
Whilst youth work seeks to promote young people's personal and social development through a wide range of activities, youth participation can be defined as them being actively involved in matters of concern to them. The following statement clarifies this type of youth work;
'Youth Participation is the process by which children and young people influence decision making which brings about change in them, others, their service and their communities'. National Hear by Right Standards Framework: www.nya.org.uk
SDC has been involved in the delivery of youth and community work since the late 1990’s. Initially we supported local youth projects through community safety initiatives then, in March 2000 we established Stroud District Youth Council.
In 2006, we gained our own professional youth and community work post to further develop our services, whilst continuing the aforementioned support. The post still exists today managing the strategic and operational aspects of the SDC Youth Service. We adopted the national Hear By Right standards in 2008 to support organisational change with the Council.
A strong culture of youth participation has emerged over time and is now a unique feature for young people in the district. Since 2012, the Council have formalised this work through a youth work strategy.
SDC has overseen Stroud District Youth Council’s (SDYC) growth into an award winning, diverse and highly respected organisation that acts as the recognised voice for young people in the district. SDYC is complemented by nine local youth forum groups that make up the Stroud Youth Voice Vehicle.
Impact and Outcomes
Young people engage voluntarily and through a community development based youth work approach laid out by the service. They typically work in small groups, with a variety of opportunities to collectively influence changes in the following:
- The services they receive
- The communities where they live
- Their own personal, social and educational development
The outcomes which young people can expect from there involvement, feature in seven 'clusters of capabilities' as defined in the Catalyst Framework of Young Peoples Outcomes - the clusters are broadly described as:
- Confidence and Agency
- Planning and Problem Solving
- Relationships and Leadership
- Resilience and Determination
- Managing Feelings
The benefits to young people also relate to the ‘five steps to wellbeing’.
To find out more about Stroud District Youth Council and the local youth forum groups, visit the Stroud Youth Voice website:
Our youth work engagement approach
We engage with predominantly young people between the ages of 11 and 18.
Our engagement approach is outlined in the Council’s youth work strategy and is based on both the context of youth work and the context of youth participation, as a type of youth work. We also use the term ‘youth voice’, which essentially is the same as youth participation but often deemed as a more user friendly term.
Foremost when it comes to our engagement, young people interact with the Council’s youth work staff in a voluntary capacity – similar to all types of youth work, it allows them to have ultimate autonomy over when they engage and for how long. However we do have systems and structures in place that shape our overall approach – these include following our safeguarding policy and guidelines as well as the Council’s dedicated strategy.
For more information on how we engage with young people and their communities, please see the SDC Youth Work Engagement Policy document on this page.