Our Partners

Youth Work Ireland and our partners, Irish and International, work to improve the live chances of young people. We partner with other strategic organisation with particular expertise, in order to offer young people a comprehensive support package. 

An Óige

For over 85 years now, An Óige – the Irish Youth Hostel Association has been providing safe, affordable accommodation and travel experiences to those travelling Ireland as backpackers, groups, or families. It is a non-profit organisation with a focus on its guests and providing the best budget accommodation in Ireland as is possible. An Óige is part of a worldwide network of national organisations belonging to the International Youth Hostel Federation (IYHF). This entire network, known as Hostelling International, offers more than 4,000 hostels in over 90 countries.

Belong To is the national organisation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender young people. Their mission is to provide safe and fun services to LGBT young people across Ireland. BeLonG To’s vision is for an Ireland where Lesbian Gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT) young people are empowered to embrace their development and growth confidently and to participate as agents of positive social change. BeLonG To engages young people through a Critical Social Education framework, while upholding all elements of the Youth Work Act 2001.  Through engagement within BeLonG To peer education model young people develop the ability to define their position in society and gain an awareness of the inequalities that are promoted by institutions. 

Gaisce - The President's Award aims to promote and encourage young people to take up the Gaisce challenge; to train and support President Award Leaders across a variety of Gaisce operating bodies; to ensure quality in the delivery of Gaisce; and to raise awareness of Gaisce and the benefits of participation in Gaisce. The programme combines self-directed challenges and structured supervision by adult volunteers who are called President Award Leaders, or PALs. For the self-directed elements, young people set and achieve a series of personal, physical, community and team challenges at three different levels. These are known as Bronze, Silver or Gold levels.

At each level, participants are required to commit at least one hour per week to achieving each of their personal, physical and community challenges for a minimum number of weeks. The number of weeks depends on the level of the award, as does the time required to complete their team challenge: the Adventure Journey.

INVOLVE is the main provider of youth work services for young Travellers throughout Ireland. The core principles of Involve that underpin the work are:

  • Understand that Travellers are a distinct ethnic group, with a shared culture, history and language.
  • Believe that racism is a core issue that drives the discrimination Travellers experience.
  • Advocate a non-adversarial approach to youth and community work, choosing dialogue over confrontation.
  • Transparency, professionalism, consistency and accountability in all aspects of the organisation – from youth club to Board of Management.
  • Recognise and acknowledge nomadism as a valid and enriching way of life.
  • Emphasise a collaborative approach to the work, seeking like-minded partners to help us achieve aims

Léargas was established to support international exchange and collaboration in the youth sector, mainly through the medium of European Commission-funded education and training programmes. In the succeeding years, Léargas broadened its range from the youth sector to include formal and informal education and training. Léargas has recently managed the Lifelong Learning and Youth in Action programmes and now manages Erasmus+.  As well as European programmes, Léargas has run a range of nationally funded programmes such as the Education Equality Initiative and WorldWise, as well as joint Ireland-Britain programmes such as NcompasS and Causeway.

SpunOut.ie is Ireland’s youth information website created by young people, for young people. It provides information to around 80,000 active readers each month. Established in 2005, our vision is help create an Ireland where young people aged between 16 and 25 are empowered with the information they need to live active, happy, and healthy lives. SpunOut aim to educate and inform young people about the importance of holistic wellbeing and how good health can be maintained, both physically and mentally. They provide access to relevant, reliable, and non-judgemental information and provide readers with a dynamic, responsive website full of up-to-date, factual information, free of any shame or bias.

HIV Ireland operates under an ethos of equality and is committed to making a positive contribution towards a humane and just society. They strive to ensure that staff, volunteers and service users are treated with dignity and respect at all times and to create an environment that promotes equal opportunity and prohibits discrimination. Their mission is to improve conditions for people living with HIV and AIDS, their families and their caregivers, while actively promoting HIV and sexual health awareness in the general population. Their vision is advocating for individuals living with HIV, preventing new HIV infections and combating HIV-related stigma and discrimination.

Youth Work Ireland holds the Irish Seat on a number of International Networking Bodies that collectively seek to improve the live chances of young people in Europe.

Five Nations

The Five Nations is a British-Irish Strategic Partnership between Youth Work Ireland, YouthAction Northern Ireland, UK Youth, Youth Scotland and Youth Cymru with a commitment to social action and to making England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland the best possible places for young people to flourish. Together we strive to understand the impact of youth work. We believe in the values of inclusion, participation, equity and respect.

The national board of Youth Work Ireland have agreed a Concordat Between UK Youth, YANI, Youth Scotland, Youth Cymru and Youth Work Ireland which establishes the status of UK Youth, Youth Action Northern Ireland, Youth Scotland and Youth Cymru as equal partners, and formalises the long standing relationship between Youth Work Ireland and the other Youth Partners. The Concordat will provide a framework for delivery on priorities agreed by the British – Irish Strategic Partnership.

The five priorities for the Five Nations Network are:

1. Promote the Value of Youth Work Collectively
2. Build contemporary alliances between young people and those who work the young people.
3. Connect young people through civic engagement.
4. Increase advocacy and campaigning with and behalf of young people.
5. Improve well being, resilience and employability to young people.


Professional Open Youth Work (POYWE)

POYWE seeks to promote professional open youth work in terms of practice and policy. Participants from the field of Professional Open Youth Work realized the necessity of making their field of work visible and positioning it in the European youth political discourse. At the same time a desire to gain deeper insights and a wish for more topical contributions was also expressed by relevant stakeholders of the European youth policy context.

The main focus is concentrated on the fact, that Professional Open Youth Work should play an important role in all matters of European youth policy, since Professional Open Youth Work provides various youth-friendly, innovative and long-term solutions for most topics concerning young people within the EU.

European Confederation of Youth Clubs (ECYC)

ECYC represents a European network of youth work and youth club organisations that practice and promote open youth work and non-formal education. With 19 nationally represented organisations in 18 Council member State Countries, reaching 1.2 million young people, the organisation has at its heart the supporting of youth clubs and other forms of neighbourhood youth work.

The vision of the European Confederation of Youth Clubs (ECYC) is to empower young people through open youth work and non-formal learning in order to promote democratic and civil society and to encourage young people to be actively involved in their communities.

Involving young people and helping them participate actively in their community is the leading principle of Open Youth Work as delivered by ECYC members. ECYC uses open youth work and non-formal education methods in providing young people with the skills and knowledge to make their own informed decisions.

European Youth Card

The European Youth Card Association (EYCA) is a non-profit organization representing 37 organizations in 35 countries across Europe, who are committed in promoting mobility and encouraging the active participation of more than 6 million young Europeans, holders of the European Youth Card. The EYCA has a member-organization in each country / region where it is represented (NGOs, private foundations, government and public organizations, private companies), which promotes the card and provides new benefits in areas such as: culture, mobility, tourism, services and products. The supreme governing body is the General Assembly, which elects ten members of the Board and the President.

The EYCA was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Belgium. It's aims are to:

  • Promote youth mobility, offering young people benefits in transportation, accommodation and other travel services.
  • Provide information regarding the young people through many channels of communication that are available to its members – national and regional websites, magazines, newsletters, discount lists, groups in social media and more.
  • Encourage youth participation in: organizing and promoting projects, exchange programs, campaigns, competitions and other events aimed at young people.

European Youth Information and Counselling Agency (ERICA)

The European Youth Information and Counselling Agency (ERYICA) is an independent European organisation, composed of national youth information co-ordination bodies and networks. ERYICA’s role is to foster co-operation in the field of youth information work and services; to develop, support and promote quality general youth information policy and practice at all levels; and to ensure that the information needs of young people and the principles of the European Youth Information Charter are respected.

ERYICA is composed of national bodies (non-governmental or governmental) which seek to guarantee the right of young people to full and reliable information, which helps them make the choices they face in their lives, and which promotes their autonomy and their active participation in a democratic society.

The aims of ERICA are:

1. Promote respect for the principles of the European Youth Information Charter, and to work for their implementation;
2. Sustain and promote a network of youth information and counselling structures and professionals;
3. Ensure European and international co-ordination and representation in the field of youth information and counselling.