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Dorset Youth Infrastructure

Information on the changes to youth services in Dorset

We have decided to deliver youth services in a new way. This page explains how we will deliver youth work and support the wider youth offer.

Youth Offer

We have a duty to make sure that there are enough local opportunities and positive activities for young people to engage in outside school. The government doesn't expect us to provide all these services and doesn't say which services we should provide.

Targeted Youth Service

We are setting up a new targeted youth work service.

We will:

  • speak to schools and other agencies and work with young people they have identified as needing extra help
  • deliver evidence based group work programmes that help young people address issues and improve their self-confidence
  • promote social action, helping young people to play an active role in their communities through volunteering or having a say in how local communities are run

Support to the sector from strategic lead

We will have a strategic lead who will be the single point of contact for all organisations, providing things to do and places to go for young people in Dorset. They will advise and support community organisations.


We will continue to provide youth worker training to groups across the county.


RunAClub is a cloud-based, easy to use administration system for people who run community clubs and groups. It has all the essential support you need to set up and manage your own community club or network of clubs.

We will distribute RunAClub free to community groups who would benefit from access to the system as part of our commitment to building community capacity.

Watch the video for an overview of what RunAClub can do and how to use the service:

Innovation Fund

Crowdfund Dorset aims to raise £1million for great youth projects that give young people places to go and things to do, or promote social action by young people. We have set aside £200,000 for projects on Crowdfund Dorset as part of a pioneering new method of distributing local council funding. These projects will be eligible for a contribution from Dorset County Council.

Crowdfunder free workshop

Crowdfunder are hosting workshops around Dorset. Visit Crowdfunder Dorset (opens in a new window) for more information.

Support for Dorset Youth Association

We continue to support Dorset Youth Association (opens in a new window). The association delivers infrastructure support to voluntary youth workers and clubs across Dorset. On average 60 clubs and groups benefit from a wide range of support; this includes DBS clearances and free training around:

  • child protection
  • safeguarding
  • first aid
  • health and safety
  • governance

Dorset Safeguarding Children Board and Dorset Children's Trust Board

The voluntary and community sector are represented on the Safeguarding Children Board (opens in a new window) and the Dorset Children's Trust Board.

The Dorset Safeguarding Children Board was set up to make sure key agencies work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in Dorset.

The Dorset Children's Trust Board is a local partnership that bring together organisations responsible for children, young people and families to work together to improve the lives of all children and young people in Dorset.


Ansbury (opens in a new window) is a local charity and company. Ansbury have expressed interest in providing employment services to groups who are taking over our youth centres, or groups who wish to run youth clubs in other community settings.

Ansbury have a well-developed payroll and human resources infrastructure and would potentially be able to employ sessional youth workers who could be purchased by local groups to deliver a service.

Ansbury would like to hear directly from groups who may be interested in this service so that they can gauge demand. Please contact Martin Vowles at Ansbury.

Community Offer

We voted at Cabinet in January 2016 to cease providing building based open access youth work. The youth centre buildings have been offered to local groups for community use. We have received expressions of interest for all of the centres and in May 2016, Cabinet decided to transfer those buildings where a viable business case had been submitted by a local group.

Additional resources for communities

See our online tools and resources for supporting communities which include tools for funding and running a club.


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