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Youth Focus Suffolk

About Youth Focus Suffolk

Are you interested in supporting young people to be the best that they can be? To help navigate the challenges that life throws at us all?

Do you see Suffolk’s future in the hands of our young people and want to be part of shaping better outcomes for them?

Youth Focus Suffolk is a programme brought together by Suffolk County Council to enhance and encourage positive activities in the community which support our young people and give them the confidence and ambition to thrive.

But I’m not a professional youth worker?

And that is fine! This is for everyone in our communitiesto grow our skills in supporting young people, in whatever form that interaction takes.

We know that every contact made with a young person; may that be a brief conversation in a shop, sat in the hairdressers or barbers or whilst walking the dog in the park – is an opportunity as adults, for us to listen, share and support. 

So, are you a:

Café owner? Parent governor? Councillor? School caretaker? Bus driver? School taxi driver? Karate club organiser? Shop security? Nail technician?

Are young people customers of your business?

Maybe you employ a young person?

Or you simply chat with them in the street.

However you engage with young people in your community, there’s always more to learn and ways to grow. 

And whatever your background, we all have a stake in making things better for young people.

You can watch a short video below about youth work in action by 'Fully Focused' a youth led film production company and member of London Youth

How can you help me?

We have free training available, grants to support on the ground activities, toolkits and resources to support you, and a free peer network. 

You will find resources and support on these pages so that you can take an active role in being there for the adults of tomorrow in your village, your town, your community.

As our young people adapt to this new and changing environment, their needs, ambitions and opportunities may have changed.  Mental health struggles, feeling vulnerable to risky behaviours, and social pressures all have an impact on how they think, talk and act.  We are adding to our resources in these areas to give you the tools you need to signpost to services and offer the most appropriate support.

Our communities are stronger, safer and healthier when we all work together.

Thank you for being part of it.


In order to support those in the community who have connecting moments with young people, we have a series of training available to you. 

These are accessible for any over 18s who have some contact with young people (this does not need to be in a formal and traditional ‘youth work’ role) and would like to broaden their skills in engaging with them.

Places have either been funded through the Youth Focus Suffolk programme and so are provided free of charge to you or they are available free of charge by the provider.


The National Youth Agency have a range of on demand free training courses available.

E-Learning Courses on Suffolk CPD

The following courses are available on demand as eLearning modules on Suffolk CPD. You will be prompted to register when you click into each course or you can follow this link:

Sign up here for your FREE Suffolk Children & Young People CPD Online account today! 

Upcoming Training Available

ACEs - Introduction to Adverse Childhood Experiences, Early Trauma Online Learning. 50 minutes - Online. Click here to get started.

ZSA Training - 'Step Up' Social Isolation Training, ZSA Gateway Training and Suicide Awareness Training. Click here to access

We will be adding to our training offer in the future.  If you have particular requirements for a subject area that you would be keen to have more support in, let us know and we will look to develop an appropriate offer.

The Peer Support Network

It’s not always easy offering support to young people – knowing when to signpost in to services, when and how to encourage opening up, and giving the right sort of support. 

It can feel lonely. This is why we offer peer support.

We have a private Youth Focus Suffolk Facebook group, which you can join - Youth Focus at CAS. Here you can post up questions, share news and events and find out about what's happening locally.

The Youth Focus Peer Support Network is available also on the Knowledge Hub.

If you'd like to join please contact info@communityactionsuffolk.org.uk. The group is hosted on the Knowledge Hub, so you'll need to create an account and join the Youth Focus Suffolk group.

You can register an account on Knowledge Hub by completing the registration form. When you have registered and verified your account, you can search for groups to join that are relevant to you and your role.

Some groups are ‘open’ and you can join right away, and others are ‘restricted’ which means you will need to ‘request to join’ and a facilitator will be in touch with you. After joining groups you can connect with members, participate in the group’s activity and access the group’s content and updates.

Here is a direct link to the Youth Focus Suffolk group. In this group you will find  information about training, grants, events and resources. 

Being able to connect with others who are also involved in working with young people, and who have had similar experiences can be really helpful in developing your own confidence, knowledge and understanding of how to approach things in your own community.

If you attend one of our free training sessions with Community Action Suffolk, you will automatically be added to our peer network.  This will give you access to an online forum and additional free online training in more specialist areas such as substance misuse.

Grants and Funding

We know that when young people are engaged in positive activities in their communities, they are more likely to thrive.  They learn new skills, gain confidence and have the opportunity to spend time with peers in a safe space.

Advice and Support for Fundraising

You can access fundraising advice, resources and support from Community Action Suffolk here: Funding Advice - Community Action Suffolk

Sustainability Training and Resources

We have a selection of training available and on demand resources, from 'Armchair Fundraising - the basics' to 'Crowdfunding for Success', 'Finance essentials for Trustees' to 'Social Impact measurement'. 

Contact info@communtyactionsuffolk.org.uk to request subsidised training for youth organisations or to arrange a free one to one funding surgery. 

Activities for young people

We know that when young people feel safe, are positively engaged in activities that interest them and they are accessible (at a good time for them and in a location they can get to easily), they are more likely to build their confidence, make good choices, and contribute positively.

It could be that in the conversations you have with young people, there’s a gap in knowledge as to what is on offer in Suffolk for them.

To make that easier, we have mapped out what is out there at the moment for 10-19 year olds.

You can search our map by a particular location you or the young people are interested in, or by interest/topic.

And we know things change.  Some activities stop, and some new ones emerge in new places, so if you know of other services or activities, please let us know and we will get those details added.


What is Youth Work?

Watch a short video from the NYA about what youth work is and what it aims to do.

Routes to Success Webinars

The NYA have put together a number of webinars called 'Routes to Success', on a wide variety of issues, from rural youth work, to employment, health and wellbeing to LGBTQ.  You can watch them here  

Sexual Health Services

The Terrence Higgins Trust offers STI testing, sexual health information, advice, free condoms and training.  Contact sexualhealthsuffolk@tht.org.uk

Detached Youth Work

Detached Youth work is about reaching young people in the places they hang out - bringing youth work to them rather than the other way round. This film exploring what detached youth work is about, was made by the Turst for Developing Communities (TDC).

Talking to young people about race and racism

The British Red Cross have created some resources to help give you confidence to talk to young people about race and racism and develop understanding and awareness. Visit the site here 

'Not all superheroes wear capes - the power to change the world' - You can watch this tedtalk below by Nova Reid, a diversity and anti-racism campaigner.


The NSPCC offer advice for talking to young people about racism, as well as support for young people. Visit the NSPCC website here.

Supporting Emotional Wellbeing

The Emotional Wellbeing Hub provides information, advice, and guidance if you are worried about the mental health of a child or young person aged 0-25 years, or you're a young person experiencing emotional wellbeing difficulties. Visit the Emotional Wellbeing hub here

CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) Guides

7 Principles to Building Trust through Listening