If you’ve followed Youthscape for more than the past few weeks, you might have noticed that we’ve made a new website. You might well ask: why would we do such a thing? How dare we? Once you’ve accepted the transition, you might then inquire: 'so what’s changed?'
Youthscape’s new site is more than just a fresh-faced ‘new look’; it’s a significant shift in how we function online, and crucially, how we can serve you in the wider work of serving young people. It’s full of new content and new pages showing you what we’re all about and how you can get involved. The site is now split into six separate sections, each segment covering a key part of the diverse work that we do, each catered to help you get what you need.
The sections are: Research, Innovation, YS Luton, Services, Store, and About.
In this brief explanation of our new site, consider each colourful section a key stage on the Youthscape tour: like traversing Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, minus the imperilled young people. If you like, you can skip ahead to the section most relevant to you, and if you relish independence, you can just leave this page and explore the site yourself.
So “hold your breath, make a wish, count to three…”
The world is always changing. Youthscape’s Centre for Research is dedicated to studying the ever-shifting landscape of youth culture – so that you can better help young people. You can subscribe to our quarterly printed research publication The Story, and follow new statistics and our analysis at the Research News hub, which (resuming soon) will be updated with new content every week.
You can study the findings of our dedicated research projects such as No Questions Asked, and Losing Heart, and read about our current research projects and when they’ll be published. Don’t stop there, because you can also meet our Research team, our Advisory Board, and explore opportunities to do scholarship-funded postgraduate study with Youthscape.
Innovation is at the heart of what we do. But it’s also a catchy buzzword that demands definition and explanation – lest it be merely corporate lingo. So you can read all about our philosophy of innovation, what it means, why we think it matters for youth work, and what a ‘theology’ of innovation might mean. You can explore our distinct creative process that puts it at the core of our work, and read case studies that tell the story of products tried and tested through our innovation process.
We started in Luton and that’s where we always start. Our local team are dedicated to serving the emotional, social and spiritual development of all young people in our schools, churches and local community. In this area you can access all-new pages dedicated to each of our local projects. Everything from pioneering work that helps young people deal with loneliness, vital work with looked-after children, to programs focussed on education – whether that’s our NEET interventions, mentoring in schools, or assemblies and Spiritual Development work that help young people explore the meaning of life.
Crucially we have a new online referral portal, a simple form you can fill in on one page (no paperwork of PDFs required) to refer a young person to any of our projects that require referral. We have exciting projects with Luton churches too, like the ecumenical youth event Luton Unite, or our Collaborative Youth Worker scheme.
We provide diverse services supporting youth work across the UK. Perhaps you want to explore and purchase tickets for our national Training courses – we cater to both professionals and youth workers, currently covering issues like self-harm, anxiety and emotional wellbeing.
We have a new weekly blog platform Youth Work News, where you’ll find reflections and comment – usually from our team – about things we’ve done or things that are happening in the world of youth work. You can find out about our annual National Youth Ministry Weekend, follow new interviews and topical discussion on our Podcast, and catch up with our youth-worker-tailored devotional series Open Me.
You can find out about our church-related services like Launchpad and Youth Work Sunday, and explore the different kinds of academic study we offer, from annual lectures to accredited qualifications in youth work and theology. Services is also the pathway to key Youthscape subsites like SelfharmUK and SchoolsworkUK.
We’re committed to providing the tools you need to best serve young people today, and our all-new Store platform exists for that purpose. Browse our resources, offers, curated books and special events. We have new product bundles created to suit different audiences, whether you’re exploring mental health, discipleship, parenting guides or working in schools. We’ve made it easy to create an online account, manage your cart, and if there’s anything you need help with, there’s now a live chat box you can access in the bottom right of your screen (the pink smiley face). Just put your message in there and a real human being will be just moments away (from messaging that is, we can’t come to your house). You can use the app anywhere else on the site as well, so whatever you need, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
We’ve been serving young people since 1993. Find out who we are, and why we do what we do. You can meet our team, trustees and patron, explore volunteering opportunities, dive into our history and find out how to support us.
This is also where you can find out about hiring our award-winning Bute Mills building as a venue for your next meeting or conference. We offer a diverse range of well-equipped creative working spaces across this recently-renovated five-storey building, so if you’re looking for a place to meet in Luton, feel free to check it out.
So there’s an introduction to our site and what’s where. If any queries remain, talk to us! The pink smiley face in the bottom-right beckons you. Or just wander our pages and see where it takes you. Happy surfing.