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09 March 2015

Monday 9 March 2015

New research shows clear positive impact on confidence, resilience, determination and relationships

  • Over 4,000 young people surveyed during 2013/14
  • Impact of youth club-based programmes in sport, social action and outdoor education were measured

Our new research published today presents clear evidence that good youth work can have a positive impact on young people’s confidence, resilience, determination and ability to build relationships. The research – outlined in our first Impact Report: Good youth work works? – is based on survey responses of 3,000 children (under 12), 1,240 young people and 550 youth professionals during 2013/14.

The children and young people were either visitors to London Youth’s outdoor residential centres at Hindleap Warren or Woodrow High House, or participants in programmes to support them through sports development and social action.

The research looked at both the process – which include the quality of the programmes, covering the role of staff, the development of skills, the learning that the young people experienced; and the impact – which is the overall effect on the young person participating.

Some of the headline findings were:

  • In a sample of  198 young people who participated in London Youth’s Getting Ready sports programme, we discovered that 70% reported an average of an 18% positive change across all of their social and emotional capabilities
  • 63% of them reported a 19% average positive change in their determination and resilience; and 58% reported a 25% average increase in self confidence
  • At Hindleap Warren Outdoor Education Centre, 76% of children surveyed said they get on better with other people after their residential experience
  • And youth workers gave Hindleap Warren staff 9.5 out of 10 in terms of their engagement with young people and the quality of learning provided

The feedback from young people on impact was generated using before and after questionnaires built on the internationally validated Life Effectiveness Questionnaire, and using an approach built on the Catalyst Consortium’s Outcomes for Young People framework.

Rosie Ferguson, Chief Executive of London Youth said:

Over the last two years, we have begun a journey with our members to progress our collective understanding of our impact. We can now clearly demonstrate and say with confidence that what we do makes a positive difference. We want to share this insight so that both practice and policy improve and there is greater investment in what works.

This report outlines what we have uncovered to date. We’re very excited about the insights emerging and the scope they give us – and other practitioners – to improve services and opportunities for young people. Our organisational principles command us to be honest about what works, collaborative with others and committed to continuous improvement. We believe this work is a significant step forward on all of these.”

London Youth is an early adopter of the newly established Centre for Youth Impact’s framework for supporting positive outcomes for young people. The charity is working with a cohort of London based youth organisationsLaburnum Boat Club, Wac Arts, The London Bubble Theatre Company and The Winch – to help them understand and measure their own impact, and will be taking the learning to its wider network of over 400 youth clubs in London during 2015.

A summary and detailed evaluation reports can be found here.

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