Cornwall’s first Youth Work Conference hailed a huge success

More than a hundred youth workers gathered to share experience and knowledge at the first ever Youth Work Conference in Cornwall.

Organised jointly by Cornwall Council, Young People Cornwall and BF Adventure, the event took place at St Erme Community Centre on Friday (November 11) and included presentations from experts as well as networking opportunities for attendees.

They represented a range of organisations including Kernow Youth, Carefree, Dracaena Centre, Barnardo’s, Pentreath, Treyla, We Are With You, and Youth Art Connect with the keynote speech delivered by Abbee McLatchie, Director of Youth Work at educational charity National Youth Agency.

Cornwall's first Youth Work Conference

Representatives also took part in a series of round-table discussions, sharing experiences about the obstacles currently facing young people and the role of youth workers in helping them overcome these.

Issues flagged included: poverty and the cost-of-living crisis; the lack of facilities in some areas; impact on mental health; scarce job opportunities; the rise in hate crime against young people; funding challenges; and the need for more collaborative working.

Youth work aims to promote young people’s personal and social development and enable them to have a voice, influence and place in their communities and society as a whole.



It builds resilience and character and gives young people the confidence and life skills they need to live, learn, work and achieve.

Event organiser Helena Webb, Early Help Service Manager at Cornwall Council, said:

“This was the first ever Youth Work Conference in Cornwall and I’m overwhelmed by how well it went. I thought it might start out as a small networking event for a handful of people but it quickly snowballed into a big event that filled the venue.

“It was a great opportunity for youth workers who work in different sectors to get together and network, develop and talk about what they are experiencing and hearing from young people across Cornwall.

“The success of the conference shows there is a real appetite for youth work in Cornwall. We’re incredibly fortunate that youth work is still so well respected in the county and can continue to play an important role in helping young people become the best possible version of themselves – other areas of the country aren’t as lucky.”

Cllr Barbara Ellenbroek, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said:

“Youth work plays a vital role in giving children and young people direction, encouragement, purpose and a sense of belonging in their communities.

“Hearing how popular this first Youth Work Conference has been, and the passion and commitment displayed by everyone who attended, makes me incredibly proud.”

For more about youth work in Cornwall visit

Press release published on November 16, 2022

Your feedback is important to us

Help us improve our service