Youth Zones deliver a high quality universal youth offer that enables all young people to come together, meet new people and participate in developmental activities that build confidence, self-esteem, social skills, communication skills, and team working skills. By engaging in new experiences or taking on challenges they learn from experience, problem solve and overcome setbacks building resilience and motivation.

It provides a really wide range of activities to engage young people in, offers young people an understanding of opportunities and what is achievable that they might not see in other parts of their lives, therefore building aspirations, also the chance to develop skills and the impact that has builds resilience.


  • Before coming to their Youth Zone our members spent more time isolated in their bedrooms
  • 100% of stakeholders said that the Youth Zones provided a safe place for young people to have fun and grow
  • 95% of young people said they felt safe at their Youth Zone (4% said ‘sometimes’)
  • 92% of parents whose child has attended for over 2 years said their child had learnt new things
  • 78% of parents consider that the Youth Zone has had a positive impact on their child’s life, a figure which rises to 95% amongst those whose children have been attending for more than 2 years
  • 71% of parents whose child has attended for over 2 years believe the membership has had a positive impact on their family life.

I just have more of a social life, met lots of people, do lots of different activities, I have fun with my friends & learn new things” As a result, “I feel it has helped me grow which made me think more sensibly & behave better in general.

Social Skills

  • 75% of members have more friends, this increases to 82% for 2 years plus members and for frequent members and to 87% of those eligible for Free School Meals
  • 73% of young people 14 years plus feel less isolated as a result of their membership
  • 68% of members say they are better at mixing with people who are different from them
  • 100% of stakeholders said that it improved young people’s social skills
  • 100% of stakeholders considered it enhanced young people’s friendships


  • 77% of members are more self-confident
  • 100% of stakeholders said their Youth Zone improved young people’s confidence

Emotional skills

  • 66% of young people thought they were better at bouncing back from setbacks and disappointments

Analysis of outcomes by gender, disability, ethnicity and age show no significant differences with the exception of cohesion which is stronger for Junior members. The strength of impact increases with length of membership across all indicators. Those who have been members for two years or more are around twice as likely to ‘strongly agree’ that there has been an impact compared with those who have recently joined.

Every week you can speak to a person who you have trust in. A sense of relief.

Alex’s story: “I noticed the smiles when I came through the door”

Alex joined Mahdlo, Oldham Youth Zone when he was 12 years old. A longstanding and active member of Mahdlo, and an OnSide Network Ambassador – Alex shares his story of eight years at the Youth Zone.

Read the case study

Our Goals

Goal 2

Help young people to lead healthier, happier lives.

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Goal 3

Enable young people to better face the challenges of life.

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Goal 4

Support young people to raise their aspirations and fulfil their potential.

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Goal 5

Stronger communities with empowered, active, caring citizens.

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Impact of OnSide

OnSide exists to transform young people's lives across the UK through a powerful network of state-of-the art Youth Zones that offer life changing opportunities and vital relationships with youth workers that support young people to build and achieve their aspirations.

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