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North Yorkshire Youth

North Yorkshire Youth (NYY) is a partner of Nidderdale Plus. Find out more about the work that NYY does to support young people in Vicki Lever’s article below.

North Yorkshire Youth is a charity based near Thirsk which supports youth work in North Yorkshire’s communities.  Across the Harrogate District NYY support a number of youth projects as well as individual young people and groups: with the Youth Volunteer Project and the Youth Development Team.

Rachel Rabjohns is the Youth Volunteer Co-ordinator and supports young people aged 14 – 25yrs to find volunteering opportunities.  Volunteering is a great way to boost your CV, college and university applications, get involved in your local community, help others and can also help young people to find paid work. It can also offer the individual new challenges, the chance to meet new people and develop life and work skills. The project is extremely flexible, fitting in with young people’s availability, it can be done on a weekly basis, just in school holidays or as a one-off event. Rachel will look at the young people’s interests as well as their career aspirations to find a suitable opportunity for them.  Examples of placements include: Assistant Sports coach, Community Gardener and Disability Activities Support Worker.

Rachel also works with organisations to provide safe, productive and enjoyable volunteer placements for young people and will promote their opportunities to young people signed up to the project.  She will aim to find a young volunteer who has the skills and qualities the organisation are looking for and can support both parties in setting up and throughout the placement.  Rachel visits schools and colleges to recruit potential young volunteers and then looks to match them with a suitable opportunity.

Vicki Lever is the Harrogate District Youth Development Worker at NYY.  She offers support and advice to volunteers working in youth clubs and projects across the district.  Vicki will provide assistance to existing groups as well as work to develop new projects.  Her support includes; helping youth groups to recruit much needed volunteers; supporting groups to develop activity programmes; supporting young people, leaders and volunteers to access funding and resources; offering access to relevant information on policies and procedures and training for club / project leaders and volunteers.

Vicki will work closely with communities to develop new projects for children and young people.  Once the projects are up and running she will visit regularly and support with future development opportunities.  Examples of some of the groups Vicki supports include: Squigglers Art Club in Ripon, Kirkby Malzeard Youth Club and Adversity United Football Club.

Another service that NYY manages is called the Buddy Network.  The Buddy Network is a young person’s befriending project that operates across North Yorkshire. The aim of the service is to support 14-19 year oldsby helping them to gain confidence, meet their goals and reach independence.  Together, the buddy and young person develop a befriending agreement and identify progression routes and goals. The buddy and young person meet regularly for a period of approximately 6 months. Meetings follow a simple framework to allow progression and reflection.  We currently have over 20 trained buddy’s across the district but we are always looking for more!

For more information about the Youth Volunteer project and how to be a part of it please contact Rachel Rabjohns on 07500 787621 or email

For more information on setting up a youth club or community project or to sign up as a buddy please contact Vicki Lever on 07881 797716 or email

Jay Stelling visited Squigglers Art Club to talk about illustration and design.  The young artists then produced their own version of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ and other fairy tales.

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