Young Devon has put young people at the heart of Devon since 1949. Starting off as Devon Youth Association, for seven decades it has made Devon a better place for all young people. A place where they are respected; a place where they can get the help they need; a place where their voices are heard; a place where they have a safe place to call home; a place where they can thrive.
From the early days helping youth clubs and sports clubs, boxing in particular, Young Devon has become the largest young people’s charity in the Peninsula and one that is locally, regionally and nationally respected. In 1997, DYA become Young Devon and, along with the change in name, saw us starting down the new path that it has followed ever since.
The charity saw the challenges facing young people and evolved its services so that it could better help them. Our Accommodation offers evolved and grew; we identified that young people had a growing need for skills, training and employability support; we embraced the positive impact of young people’s volunteering and social action; we offered young people access to the mental health and wellbeing help they needed in the way they wanted it; we made sure that young people’s voices were heard.
Each year our staff of 140, alongside more than 150 supported and trained volunteers, apprentices & hosts, help over 2000 young people across our 34 projects. Our Accommodation team provided over 60,000 bed nights and the Homelessness Prevention Teams worked with 208 young people to ensure no one went without a roof over their head. Our Wellbeing team delivered 1000 hours of counselling, developed mental health training in schools and were there for 100 young people who had suffered because of a crime. The Change Academy supported over 350 young people skills, training and apprenticeship programs, helping to empower young people to become active members of their community.
We are as focused today, as we head towards our 70th year, as we have ever been. Each generation of young people has faced new challenges and we have always, and will always, be there for them