So why now? Why a new brand? Throughout the pandemic, the youth work sector stepped up and further proved how vital youth work services are to young people. Adapting services, widening access through unfamiliar digital channels, responding to the moveable feast of young people’s needs, who found themselves under severe and sustained emotional and social strain. We were proud to represent, support and advocate for a sector that was Resilient, Resourceful, Reimagined.
After the initial upheaval of the outbreak of Covid-19 and subsequent lockdowns, when youth work services were allowed to resume (albeit with significant restrictions) we reflected on how we as an organisation could be reimagined. Did our brand and website stand up to our desire to be bold, dynamic, brave, ambitious? Did it capture the spirit of the sector?
The time for change had arrived.
Back to the drawing board, then. Or not quite – we had a strong foundation based on our core values of representing our membership with integrity and promoting learning, innovation and transformation. Our mission remains unchanged: to demonstrate the impact of youth work and ensure all young people have access to it, regardless of circumstances.
After some workshopping with our staff team and board, working in tandem with our developers Primate (who deserve credit for their talent and ingenuity just as much as their patience and diplomacy!) – we arrived at our ‘Why’:
Our work revolves around dialogue, conversation and mutual understanding between our three key constituencies. Youth workers and young people; our members, the sector and wider stakeholders; national and local government.
We promote youth work’s value and the life-long significance of the daily conversations that go on between young people and youth workers across Scotland. We facilitate discussion, learning, shared knowledge and experience by connecting our incredible members through a widening number of key sector networks. Finally, we drive positive change by our campaigning, influence and advocacy – calling for policy change in key thematic areas that impact the lives of young people.
This led to our concept of our overlapping constituencies represented by a Venn diagram effect – none of our work, our members or indeed the conversations we help facilitate exist in isolation. We are all united for change. When combined with a speech bubble to represent those conversations, we arrived at our logo concept.
A bit different from our old brand, right? Not half! While we are serious about our mission to champion the sector and the corporate responsibilities that come with it, we needed a visual identity that was a closer match to the vibrancy and the dynamism of our wonderful sector. Youth work, at the end of the day, is about fun.
So it was in with the bright, vibrant electric blue and magenta. And not being an agency that likes to be boxed in, we removed the line around our logo. We’re driven by our brand values of inclusivity, transparency and integrity.
Now for the really exciting stuff. A major part of our thinking was the sector’s need for a new, improved, effective website that can help youth workers and managers find the information they need, demonstrate the impact of youth work and access high-quality training, events and funding opportunities.
When we asked you about our current website via a survey, we listened. Resources and information were top of your wish list, but our old website could be confusing and resources could be hard to find. You wanted case studies and good practice examples, but our resource library was cluttered and resources were spread across different areas of the website.
While we were signposting funding, vacancies and events effectively, users often struggled to find out more about YouthLink Scotland’s core work, values and mission.
Lots. We wanted to develop a website that could act as a powerful tool for the sector, helping youth workers access the information, resources, funding and training they need to ensure every young person can achieve their fullest potential.
Our expanded Funding Directory has more opportunities than ever – and you can now search and filter effectively to really drill down to the fund that suits the needs of you and your organisation.
We’ve launched a brand-new Resource Library, a one-stop-shop for youth workers who are passionate about delivering the best possible outcomes for young people. Our dynamic filtering saves you time and keeps the highest-quality resources at your fingertips.
We’ve updated our Training & Development section, providing the perfect platform for youth workers to identify key training opportunities, learning pathways and career opportunities. Whether it’s introductory qualifications to degree-level study, we can help you find the right training opportunity for you.
We’ve created a new Education and Skills section on our website to keep all our work relating to the learner journey in one place. Here you’ll find everything from youth work’s contribution to the Scottish Attainment Challenge, Education Reform and Employability, to our work on Learning for Sustainability and Digital Youth Work.
Our all-new Youth Work Hub keeps all the resources, documentation and professional frameworks that are at the core of the youth work sector. We’ve also added a What Is Youth Work page to widen the understanding of the nature and purpose of youth work.
Perhaps the most important addition to our new website, however, is the introduction of our Youth Work Impact Hub. One of the key asks from members and website users from our website was the need for clear, easy-to-find, powerful content to demonstrate the impact of youth work.
We all know the feeling of writing up that last-minute funding application and needing to boost your chances with some eye-catching stats and figures. Look no further.
We’ll be adding to the Impact Hub on a regular basis with the latest reports, stats, quotes, figures and case studies so that no one can be left in any doubt about the impact youth work has on the lives of young people. We’ll also be adding thematic breakdowns of the impact of youth work in time, so you’ll always have hard access about the value of youth work close-at-hand.
Ultimately, a dynamic sector needs dynamic representation. The incredible work that goes on in communities the length and breadth of Scotland needs championed and promoted in a manner that captures the essence of youth work, if it’s to be effective and, ultimately, successful. We hope you agree that our new visual identity and website will be a powerful tool in helping us achieve our mission of all young people in Scotland having access to high-quality youth work.
Youth work is about relationships and youth workers ‘get’ young people – it’s something we hear over and over again from discussions with young people. Having that trusted adult in your life that’s not a teacher, not a parent or a figure of authority can have a pivotal impact on the life chances of Scotland’s young people. We get it. We’re here to make sure young people get youth work.
When you've had time to look over the new site, we'd love to hear your thoughts. We plan to continually review and develop the site to further improve it, and all the feedback provided will go into that process.