Please find below a list of our upcoming digital events NYA are running. Please click the sign up here link to find out more about each session and submit your details to receive a joining link.

Part of these events are monthly Youth Work Tea Breaks. The idea of the tea breaks was the development of a reflective platform to enable practitioners to come together and explore common themes which impact our practice on a daily basis. It is very much an informal learning set, bringing together youth work practitioners to engage in critical thinking and dialogue. Each session has a specific theme and the discussions are very much led by the participants.

Our Tea Breaks and Supper Clubs are not only spaces for critical reflection, sharing and debate, they can also be counted towards your professional development…take a look at our events and be sure to include them in your CPD plans!

Our Upcoming Events

Regional RoadshowsThe NYA and the Regional Youth Work Units are co-hosting regional roadshows to share our work and to gather insights from those working with young people and in youth services across the country, to inform our collective action.  31 Jan – 26 Mar 2024Further details
Off-Site Safety Management (OSSM) for the youth sector – BirminghamThis fun and highly engaging two-day in-person course aims to help youth workers and/or managers responsible for practical youth work activities, off-site trips and visits, to make these experiences safer for young people, and the staff supporting them. This course will utilise a range of practical tasks and engaging workshops designed to highlight the risk issues you might encounter in a range of youth programmes, off-site activities and residential settings, this is more than the normal classroom-based training!06 – 07 Mar 202409:30 – 17:00 (of the next day)Register here
Designated Safeguarding Lead Training for the Youth Sector – NorwichTailored for those working with 8-24-year-olds and holding safeguarding responsibilities in a youth work setting, this two-day intensive in-person training equips you for the pivotal role of Designated Safeguarding Lead. It will equip you with the knowledge and tools to effectively foster a young person centred safeguarding culture, to elevate awareness of safeguarding and child protection issues within your organisation.13 – 14 Mar 202409:30 – 17:00 (of the next day)Register here
Youth Work Connect – Exploring identity, belonging, and authentic lyrical content in the world of young musiciansJoin the conversation on empowering young people through music-making, while addressing the fine line between self-expression and responsible storytelling.20 March 202410:30 – 11:45Register here

Meet the Panellists…

Ben Hurst

Ben Hurst (he/him) is an activist, educator, host, presenter, podcaster, model, public speaker and the Head of Facilitation and Training at Beyond Equality (formerly The Good Lad Initiative), a UK-based organisation that engages men and boys in the gender equality conversation across Schools, Universities and Corporate spaces, rethinking masculinities and promoting positive personhood and healthy relationships. Ben discusses these topics online, most notably in his TEDx Talks, ‘Boys won’t be boys. Boys will be what we teach them to be’ and ‘We need to talk to boys about online misogyny’, and in print, with features in Glamour and Stylist magazine, Postscript, Positive News and many more. Ben’s work focuses on dismantling the gendered stereotypes that men inhabit and encouraging them to explore their own relationships to masculinity. 

Ben is also a freelance DEI consultant and trainer for a bunch of organisations he’s not allowed to mention because he signed too many NDA’s without reading them first, including but not limited to; Virgin, Sky, Travers Smith, Burberry and Soho House, and he is the co-host of TED x London’s Climate Curious podcast which is really good and explores the current climate crisis. Ben’s focus is on making important conversations accessible for young people and adults from all walks of life 

Louise Mullany

Louise Mullany is Professor of Sociolinguistics at the University of Nottingham UK. She has researched communication and inequality for the last 25 years and published a number of books and articles in this area with international publishing houses. She is founder and director of Linguistic Profiling for Professionals, a research centre and business unit based at the University. She has delivered research-based consultancy and training in diversity and inclusion to over 300 businesses and organisations, from SMEs through to large multinationals in public, private and third sectors. Recent work focuses on gender-based violence and hate crime in public spaces. She was winner of a Times Higher Education Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community in 2021 for her joint work on gender-based violence and hate crime. She has presented her research in a number of global locations including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Kenya, New Zealand, Poland, Spain and Uganda. 

Pete Harris

Dr Pete Harris spent 18 years as a youth worker and then as a senior manager for a children’s charity before joining Newman University in 2010. He holds a BA in Social Policy, a Dip.H.E. in Youth and Community Work and an M.A. in Education Studies. He was Presidents Doctoral Scholar at Manchester University where he completed an ESRC funded PhD in Criminology. 

Pete brings this cross disciplinary perspective to his research activity. In 2012 he co-led a multinational research project examining youth work responses to youth violence, the findings of which became a book entitled “Responding to Youth Violence through Youth Work” in September 2016. He has since presented at the British and European Societies for Criminology and Outreach Youth Work conferences in the UK, Malta and Scandinavia on the issue of youth violence and masculinity and has produced several published works in the area of youth work and youth crime. His current research interests include how psychosocial criminology can inform relationships between youth practitioners and young people involved in violence, gender-based abuse and violence in schools, the impact of trauma inflicted on soldiers in training, and how critical pedagogues can produce transformative learning in Higher Education.

Michael Mckenna

Michael McKenna is the Assistant Director with YouthAction Northern Ireland, based in their Armagh Regional Office. He was firstly employed by YouthAction in 1999 as a Rural Youth Worker before moving to head up the Work with Young Men Team were he had overall responsibility for the management and practice development of work with young men. He undertook the Assistant Director post in February 2023. He is a professionally qualified youth worker, graduating with a B.Phil (ED) degree in Youth and Community Work from Westhill College, Birmingham in 1997 and was in the first batch of students from the University of Ulster to graduate with the MSc in Youth and Community Work in 2005.  

He has extensive experience as a practitioner, trainer and researcher into issues affecting young men, which includes Taking Boys Seriously – A Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Male School Life Experiences in Northern Ireland (2008 – 2012); Talking Boys Seriously 2 (2018 – 2023) and the Young Men and Suicide Project (2013). He was a member of the Office of First Minister & Deputy First Minister’s Gender Advisory Panel, Department for Communities Gender Strategy Co-Design Group and a former Co-Chair of NICVA’s Men’s Policy Forum. He is currently a member of The Executive Office Ending Violence Against Women & Girls Co-Design Group, Men’s Health Forum in Ireland Advisory Group, the Southern Area Men’s Health Steering Group & a board member of Global Action on Men’s Health.  

Michael has brought the work with young men in the north of Ireland to a global stage through involvement in exchange work with young men from the island of Ireland and the Western Balkans Region and presenting at conferences including Man 2012: New Balkan Boy, Belgrade, Serbia (2012); Men, Peace & Security Symposium, United States Institute of Peace, Washington DC, USA (2013); Organisation for Security & Co-operation in Europe, Gender Focal Point Meeting, Baden, Austria (2013) and Organisation for Security & Co-operation in Europe, Needs Assessment on the Role of Young Men & Boys Against Gender Based Violence, Chisinau, Moldova (2013). He was a panellist on the Putting Gender at the heart of the youth work & delivered training at the National Youth Council of Ireland’s Gender Conference, Dublin Castle (2014). He also presented at Cork City Partnership National Conference on Exploring Men’s Engagement Using Community Development Approaches (2018).  

He was instrumental in involving young men in the development of the Shout Out Speak Out Boys & Young Men’s Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) campaign in 2017. The CSE work has been followed up with the development of three awareness rising animations in 2023 that were co-designed with young men alongside the Safeguarding Board for NI & Voice of Young People in Care (VOYPIC). He was involved in the Men In Crisis documentary made by former world boxing champion Carl Frampton, showed on BBC1 NI on 8th May 2023. He has been ever present on the Men’s Health Forum in Ireland All Ireland Men’s Health Week planning group, starting way back in 2005  

He has 31 years’ experience within the youth and community sector. He currently lives in Keady, Co. Armagh and is married with three daughters He is passionate about Gaelic games, the Irish language, U2 and is obsessed with fishing! 



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