All About Youth


SYA Annual Report 2023 December 7, 2023



SYA Annual Report 2023

We are please to present our 2023 Annual Report!

This year we have chosen to present our Annual Report in two formats, our usual pdf format which you can access by following the link below,

2023 Annual Report

as well as an mp4 video format which can be viewed by playing the video below.


Construction has started on our new HQ!

Great news!  

Construction has started on our brand new £1.5 million youth centre on the site of our old building in Upton Lane. PSG, a subsidiary of Shropshire Council, are managing to project whilst Shrewsbury based R1 Construction has been contracted to undertake the work and bring our vision to life. Demolition of our old demountable building is now completed, and ground works are soon to begin. 


The project has been made possible thanks to a £1.5m Youth Investment Fund grant, which is funded by the Government and delivered by Social Investment Business in partnership with National Youth Agency, Resonance, and the Key Fund. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Social Investment Business made the announcement earlier this year – revealing SYA as one of 43 youth services across England to be awarded a grant to transform and level up opportunities for young people. 


Alex Swancott, commercial director of R1 Construction, says “We are delighted to have been appointed to construct what will be a fantastic facility for SYA and their future endeavours. It’s great to be delivering projects on our doorstep – Shropshire has an enviable network of contractors and suppliers, which we look forward to collaborating with to deliver for our community.” 


Our Community Engagement and Fundraising Manager, Claire Purcell, said: ‘We are very excited that construction has started on our new headquarters and can’t wait to see the building when it is finished. It’s all come about quite quickly, really, considering we only heard of our grant success just over six months or so ago. It’s been amazing and our thanks go to all those people who have made it possible. Shropshire Council agreed a 99-year lease, under the Capital Asset Transfer Scheme, ahead of our starting the planning permission process and we are eagerly looking forward to seeing how it all takes shape over the coming months. Meanwhile, our work continues unaffected, delivering on our commitment to running youth clubs, groups and projects and supporting voluntary groups across the County.’ 



We are hosting a leaving party in September ahead of our headquarters being demolished to make way for a new £1.5 million state-of-the-art building to be built. We are hoping for a big turnout and are eager to hear from businesses, secondary schools, supporters past, present and future and anyone else who would like to look around our existing HQ in Upton Lane, Shrewsbury, and find out more about the amazing work we do for children and young people across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin.

The party takes place on Tuesday, September 19, from 3pm to 6pm – ahead of the demolition of the building which is due to start on October 1. There will be a barbecue generously supplied by Rapid Relief Team and plenty of cake! If you are planning to attend please RSVP via email to and include any dietary requirements,  by Friday September 15th so we can adjust catering numbers accordingly.

We are then planning to bring everyone back for a grand opening ceremony once the new HQ has been built.

We are hoping to create a collection of memories across the walls of the current building and would like anyone with any photographs, memories or anything they have created at SYA to get in touch.


Storage Plea

SYA is replacing its current HQ with a new building – thanks to a £1.5m grant from the Youth Investment Fund but needs to find a new home for various equipment for the duration of the build.

Planning permission has been granted and it is hoped the new HQ will be ready by Easter next year. Any storage facilities would need to be easily accessible, allowing youth clubs to take out and return equipment needed to fulfil their commitments in support of young people across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.

Richard Parkes, SYA Chief Executive Officer, said:

“We just can’t wait for our new headquarters to be built but the building process takes time and we must ensure that the programmes we are involved with can continue running smoothly during this period.

“A lot of equipment is stored at our current base which we need to have regular access to during the demolition of our existing building and the construction of the new one.

“We need somewhere to keep things like sporting, arts and other equipment essential to keep the 120+ youth clubs across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin supplied with exciting activities.

“We would love to hear from anyone willing to come forward with an offer to provide storage space for us during this period.

“It needs to be easily accessible for those running our programmes and about 25 square metres – the size of a big double garage. Such an offer would solve a significant issue for us and it would be really appreciated.

“It is hoped that work will be completed by Easter next year and the construction will include a large social space and creative zone. The new headquarters will be quite an upgrade on our present demountable timber building which is both costly and dated.

“The new facilities will allow for the continuation of a valuable community resource within the area and will also include a quiet breakout room, training room and much-improved office areas. It will be a low-carbon building with great eco-credentials.

“In every way, it will be a sounder base to help us deliver our exciting expansion plans in the future as the largest supplier and supporter of youth work across the county.”

Anyone able to offer storage facilities to SYA can call the charity on 01743 730005 or email


Press release: Shropshire charity’s call for help to meet exciting growth and development plans in 2022

A Shropshire charity committed to helping young people develop and maintain their physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing is asking for help and calling on companies to name them as their charity of the year for 2022.

SYA (formerly Shropshire Youth Association) has exciting growth and development plans for next year but needs support in delivering the invaluable services it provides to a growing number of young people across Shropshire.

The charity engages with about 6,000 young people each year, helping to provide the opportunities and skills needed to meet future life challenges and enabling them to realise their full potential.

Richard Parkes, SYA Chief Executive Officer, said: “These are exciting times for the charity and news of our growth and development plans for 2022 is a perfect time for the wider community to get to know SYA better.

“SYA who are ‘All About Youth’ has never been stronger than it will be next year. With the launch of a new website, increased youth activity and a fresh focus on media and communications, we are set to hit 2022 running.

“The work we do supports youth activity across the geographical county of Shropshire enabling young people to build life skills, improve their wellbeing, build stronger communities, develop employability skills, and also helps reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.

“We seek to achieve this by working to fulfil our vision that “Every young person in Shropshire (both unitary council areas) has access to appropriate, affordable and quality leisure activity”.

“This might be via a local youth club, scout group, youth project, or mental health drop-in centre – all good examples of how and why SYA is engaging with about 6,000 young people across Shropshire each year.

“We need help to keep this essential work going and to meet our goals of expanding the service we provide, so we are looking to build relationships with companies and individuals who are interested in supporting us in the development of young people.

“Would it suit your company to be aligned to SYA in 2022 by choosing us as your charity of the year? Could you offer a leisure activity to be delivered at a youth club?  Are you able to sponsor an element of our celebration event in March? Could SYA help you with safeguarding training if your work involves young people? If so, we would love to hear from you.”

Mr Parkes said cash donations to the charity can be used in many ways for the benefit of the young people SYA is supporting.

“£5 provides the refreshments at a youth club for a week or the night’s hire of an encaustic art set with all the materials,” he added.

“£10 pays for fabric pens for an arts activity or squash for a youth club over the course of a term, while £20 covers the cost of ingredients for a youth club cooking activity or the BBQ coals and food for an outdoor event.

“£50 helps us buy sports equipment to get young people more active or would pay for a coat a young person could borrow for an outdoor activity, £100 pays for a computer tablet for use at a youth club or a voluntary youth club’s annual insurance premium, and £500 would help a young person deliver a health-related piece of social action as a Young Health Champion, or provide an inter-club activity such as a day’s fishing at a lake.

“£1,000 would provide a residential experience for a youth group or fund the hire of a village hall for a youth club over the year, £4,000 allows us to run two holiday activity clubs for SEND Young People or provide a qualified youth worker to run a youth club with community volunteers for a year.

“£10,000 pays for a fully-staffed youth club for a year or would run a Heads-Up Health & Wellbeing project for a year in a school setting, while £12,000 covers the leasing of a nine-seater vehicle for three years or pay for the running of a fully-staffed youth club for a year including holiday activities.”

For more about how to get involved in helping SYA with the work it is doing in Shropshire, contact Emma on



Wem Youth Club

Like many others Wem Youth Club offered outdoor provision during lockdown, however they took it to a whole new level, firstly through cloud funding purchased “Outdoor clothing” for young people then partnered with “Shropshire Wildlife fund” and local artists Andrew Howe and Kim V Goldsmith to learn about and promote Whixall Moss, this is how they got on:

They then displayed and celebrated their work with the High Sheriff of Shropshire and local dignitaries at the Severn Theatre




Call us: 01743 730005

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