Northallerton Youth Space

written by Jayne Shackleton, North Yorkshire Youth

Northallerton Youth Space was started just over a year ago off the back of concerns relating to anti-social behaviour in the town by young people.  After direct consultation with the young people it was recognised that they only wanted a safe, warm, dry place to chill out with friends, wi-fi access and perhaps some food.

NYCC, Hambleton Community Safety Hub, local neighbourhood police, North Yorkshire Youth and the Town Council came together to look at providing this and Youth Space was set up in the Town Hall for free every Friday night 6.45 to 9pm. Free entry and free food/drinks provided.  It is run by Jayne Shackleton supported by a group of volunteers.

Earlier this year FutureHY provided the Northallerton Youth Space with £500 to replace old equipment and introduce some new resources and activities. A regular feature is the ‘craft’ table where the students do activities like pebble painting, t-shirt painting, banner making, and designing posters for the Hambleton Council ‘How I keep myself safe’ campaign.

When Northallerton hosted the UCI Cycle Championships, Youth Space young people helped to paint some of the wooden bikes that were used to decorate the High Street and roundabouts.

During the summer Youth Space went ‘On Tour’ to local parks where they set up rounders and took pizza and drinks. This was very well received by the community showing how the Youth Space has helped to change how young people are perceived in Northallerton.  Since the Youth Space was created, anti-social behaviour has reduced in Northallerton by 49%.

Plans for the future include a First Aid training session, British Sign Language Course and Leadership Awards for the older members of the group.

What Youth Space means to us…

“Youth Space to me means happiness, joy and fun. Laugh with mates and keeps us off the streets and out of trouble. There is nowhere else. I feel I can talk about anything and our feelings or worries and it is a safe place for us to be. I love it here”.



"I have been in frequent communication with my mentor, and I have a lot to learn from him. He is doing a Masters at Columbia University and works in investment banking. He has been very engaging, setting useful tasks for me to develop my understanding."

- Brightside - Prepare for HE online mentee

“I have learned more about myself and the opportunities ahead of me"

- People Like Me Workshop

“Everyone is supportive and the staff are very friendly”

- Project Dare Workshop

“Thanks for the interesting talk. I’ll be using your positive thinking strategies in my exams.”

- Exam Prep Workshop

"UniConnect have been amazing to work with and we can't thank them enough for offering this additional support for young people. This has and will most certainly support them in their ideas and choices to access further education. The support, communication and dedication from the NCOP team has been second to none and we are so grateful of what they can offer/support young people with in terms of further education."

"the futurehy programme (and especially the team I have had the privilege of working with) has been a huge advantage to our school. I am very happy with their aims and ethos and they are consistent, organised and enthusiastic in their delivery."

"I experienced first hand at least one student overcome their insecurity and was able to fully engage in an activity led by an Outreach Assistant"

"Many students who came here (a University campus) today did not see university as an option but now feel confident that this is possible."