The Impact of Youth Work

We are committed to demonstrating the impact of youth work, which is why we created out Impact Hub to showcase the best examples of youth work changing young people’s lives.


At YouthLink Scotland, we are dedicated to demonstrating youth work’s transformative potential. Our Impact Hub is your gateway to understanding how youth work not only changes individual lives, but can help us build healthier, happier communities.

Find out more about the definition and principles of youth work.

Here, we provide a curated showcase of reliable data, compelling evidence, impactful statistics, and inspiring case studies.

Discover the stories of resilience and growth, explore the numbers that quantify our sector’s successes, and learn about the vast, often unseen benefits of youth work. Whether you are a policymaker, educator, practitioner writing a funding bid, or simply a curious visitor, our Impact Hub offers a comprehensive view of the vital role youth work plays in shaping brighter futures.

The National Picture

There are currently 45,262 volunteer youth workers in Scotland.

Read our full Youth Work Sector Survey Report to learn more about the size, shape and impact of our sector.

Thematic Breakdown

Youth work is a powerful, dynamic and versatile education practice that equips young people with the tools and support they need to reach their fullest potential. Due to its versitility, youth work helps young people develop their skills across a wide range of areas. It can be as broad as developing soft skills such as confidence, team work, communication and problem solving that combine to help improve young people’s ability to learn, achieve and reach positive destinations. Or, youth work specialisms can prepare young people for a digitual future through coding workshops, imrpove their mental health and wellbeing, promote values of inclusivity and understanding in diverse communities.

Find out more below about the different areas youth work is helping to build stronger, happier, more connected communities with young people equipped to fulfil their potential.

Group of young people looking at the camera, standing on a hill.

Youth Work Education Recovery Fund

The Youth Work Education Recovery Fund (YWERF) saw 64 funded programmes across Scotland deliver over 49,000 hours of youth work to over 17,000 young people. 82% of participants developed new skills 79% of young people improved their health and wellbeing 78% of young people overcame barriers to learning #YouthWorkChangesLives

Youth Work & Schools Partnership

Find out how youth work complements the formal curriculum, creating more flexibility and choice for young people and enabling their development as confident, successful learners. 

Image of young boys laughing together.

Recent Publications

Please find a snapshot of our recent publications which highlight the transformative impact of youth work across Scotland, offering in-depth insights into the significance and outcomes of taking a youth work approach. These reports underscore the value of youth work in various domains, from enhancing digital skills and education to promoting health and wellbeing. Through detailed case studies, surveys, and evaluations, our publications provide a comprehensive understanding of how youth work empowers young people, fosters community engagement, and supports personal development.

For more publications, resources and case studies, please explore our Resource Library.

Share Your Impact

If you have something you think demonstrates the impact of youth work, locally or nationally, we'd love to share them as part of the Impact Hub. Click on the button below to email in.