Conferences in 2017

The focal point of our conference activity is the annual residential conference that is held early July this year. The annual residential conference is an opportunity for members to spend an extended time together, to reflect on practice, present research papers and engage in workshops/seminars. It is also when our annual general meeting takes place. The annual residential conference rotates around the 4 nations of the UK and will usually be hosted by a Subscribing Institution.

Sat. 21st January 2017: 'Co-production and Research in Youth and Community Work'

A day conference hosted at University of Glasgow for academics, educators and early years researchers.


Tues. 21st March 2017: A Consultation Day on 'Enhancing Professional Identity:


The Role and Function of Professional Qualifications in Youth and Community Work' The Association is holding a Consultation Day for Course Leaders (or nominated representatives) on Tuesday 21st March from 10.30am-4.30pm at a Hotel Ibis, Central Birmingham. The purpose of the day is to work with course leaders and endorsement agencies to renew our commitment to professional endorsement by ensuring that endorsement and validation processes for professional courses are streamlined, sustainable and fit for purpose in our contemporary context. Read more by following the link above.


Annual Residential Conference: 5th-7th July, 2017 at the University of Hull

Theme: 'Expressions of Freedom: Revisiting the role of youth and community work as emancipatory practice'



Annual Conference 2017. Expressions of Freedom :


 Revisiting the role of Youth and Community Work as Emancipatory Practice


Wednesday 5th to Friday 7th July, 2017: University of Hull

The Association will be hosted by the University of Hull for this year’s annual conference in the year that Hull is celebrating its status as the UK City of Culture. The City is curating four seasons of culture and July marks the beginning of the City’s summer seasonal theme of ‘Freedom’ with events that ‘celebrate Hull’s rebellious streak and its freedom of thought, unbound by convention.’ The City is setting out, in its third season, to:

not only explore the pivotal role Hull played in the emancipation movement [notably through William Wilberforce] that helped to ignite the still unfinished global journey towards equality and social justice for all; but also to look at broader interpretations of freedom as a platform to create and debate, share and enjoy, reflect and reimagine.


The Association’s Annual Conference is embracing this seasonal theme by revisiting the role of youth and community work as emancipatory practice. A principle that has underpinned the youth and community work movement since its fledging activities in the 1800’s and is, perhaps, all the more urgent in the 21st century when so many young people and communities are increasingly disenfranchised, marginalised or ‘left behind.’


The conference will be opened with a key note from Barry Knight, an adviser of the Global Fund for Community Foundations, Executive Director of CENTRIS (The Centre for Research & Innovation in Social Policy and Practice) and author of ‘The Society We Want’.


There will be three seminar streams addressing ‘Expressions of Freedom’, delivered in partnership with BERA SIG ( British Education Research Association Special Interest Group) Youth Studies and Informal Education:


  • 1. Freedom of Expression:
  •     Youth and Community Work as a creative space for expression through the arts, music and culture
  • 2. Freedom of Speech:
  •     Youth and Community Work as a vehicle for 'voice', political activism and social change
  • 3. Freedom of Mind:
  •     Youth and Community Work as a process of liberating (informal) education

There is an open call for papers and workshops on these themes that address theory, research and educational practice. Abstracts of maximum 400 words are invited using the expressions of interest form (download via this link), the deadline for abstracts is Friday 17th March, 2017 (outcomes tbc w/c 03.04.17).


The conference will also include policy and practice updates in youth and community work from across the 4 UK Nations and our international associates; visits to community led services in Hull; a conference dinner with dinner reception address from WISE (Hull University’s ‘Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation’) and after dinner performances from youth and community organisations. There will also be opportunities to tour the City of Culture in conference or to extend your stay.


View the draft programme via this link.

You can reserve your place at the conference via our Eventbrite booking pages using this link





















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