Book Review: Youth Clubs – Association, Participation, Friendship and Fun!

Youth Clubs – Association, Participation, Friendship and Fun!
Sue Robertson
Russell House Publishing
ISBN 1-903855-38-1
Price £14.95


This book is a well-referenced examination of the history of youth clubs, writes Lynne Mackaness. It covers a wide range of topics related to youth clubs and draws on relevant reports and publications. Each chapter deals with a collection of thoughts and research under well-defined and clear headings.

The author makes a good case for youth work to continue for its own sake rather than to meet a changing government agenda or to be funded on a short-term basis to meet specific targets with no guarantees of continuity. It charts the change in the youth worker role towards being more of a teacher.

It focuses heavily on the role of qualified, paid youth workers mainly in the statutory sector. The voluntary sector is mentioned, but is not seen as being part of the solution.

While it contained a great deal of excellent research, and amounted to a comprehensive history with personal anecdotes, I found it mildly frustrating that the final chapter did not pull all this together with a clear view of a way forward.

I would, however, recommend it to students as a useful source of information.

Lynne Mackaness is deputy director, Warwickshire Association of Youth Clubs

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