NYA launches new advice on youth sector activities

National Youth Agency (NYA) has today published advice and a toolkit of resources to support youth sector activity during COVID-19, to complement government guidance in line with public health and safety measures. Youth sector activities are run by local groups, charities, community organisations and local authorities or as part of national programmes. The guidance applies only to England.

NYA Chief Executive Leigh Middleton said:

“The youth sector provides a rich and diverse range of activities which reflect the needs and interests of young people. Due to COVID-19 much of the regular activities have stopped or adapted with reduced levels of activity, youth and community centres closed, residential trips cancelled.

Yet these activities are an essential service, providing a safe space for support and where young people can learn new skills and have fun. It is vital to ensure the safety of young people, youth leaders and volunteers through COVID-19 and its aftermath. Therefore, as the regulatory body for youth work in England, NYA has published this formal guidance to advise the youth sector on safe levels of activity informed by Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive.”

Minister for Civil Society, Baroness Barran MBE said:

The youth sector provides an essential service for our communities, allowing young people the space to develop their confidence and make decisions on the issues that affect them.

I know from listening to young people just how important it is for them to be able to access this support at this time and I’m pleased this clear advice will help the youth sector operate safely within government guidelines.”

The advice and guidance takes into consideration the safety and support needed for young people, staff and volunteers and wider public health considerations for youth services and activities. A complementary set of planning tools and resources has also been published, co-produced with youth sector partners to help inform decision-making and their preparedness in support of local activities. It will be updated on a regular basis in line with the latest government guidance and is available on NYA’s website: www.nya.org.uk

For media enquires contact: jonathanh@nya.org.uk


Notes to the editor

  • National Youth Agency (NYA) is the Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body for youth work in England. nya.org.uk
  • Youth sector organisations typically work with young people aged 8 to 25 years, although other age groups are recognised.
  • There is a wide range of youth provisions, normally defined as ‘youth work’, which includes open-access work through youth centres, community projects, volunteering and youth social action, alongside targeted services and specialist groups for vulnerable young people.
  • Types of activity include, for example, youth clubs, street-based youth work, peer-led youth groups, uniformed youth groups, youth councils, digital/online services, outdoor education and residential trips.
  • National associations for specific types of organisations (uniformed, etc.) and activities may have additional advice and guidance to safeguard young people and in related areas of sports, culture and the arts, which are included in or make use of facilities for youth activities.
  • Users of the NYA guide must ensure they operate within the law, social distancing guidelines and meet their specific duties and responsibilities to stakeholders. It is for each organisational unit to make its own local decisions on how to apply the advice included. NYA cannot be held accountable for local decisions reached based on this guidance. The guidance does not supersede any legal obligations relating to health and safety, employment or equalities; it provides non-statutory guidance to consider when complying with these obligations. A full legal is included in the guidance document.
  • Users should ensure they are using the most up-to-date version of this document and can check this at any time via the NYA website. nya.org.uk
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