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About Us

The Key is a charity committed to inspiring young people to believe in themselves; especially those residing in deprivation and facing challenging circumstances.

We want to create a world where all young people are inspired to believe in themselves and are empowered to achieve their full potential.

What we stand for

All young people should have the opportunity to break free from social barriers and improve their futures.

We believe young people should be empowered to:

  • Empowered to use their voice and be heard
  • Trusted to lead and deliver projects meaningful to them
  • Supported to build the skills and confidence they need to thrive
  • Inspired to be active citizens by exploring enterprise or tackling social issues in their community

Our beliefs are supported by our core values of:

  • Collaboration: We achieve more together than by acting alone.
  • Focus: We keep sight of the goal to achieve our mission.
  • Growth: We constantly strive to be the best that we can be.

Everything we do is for the benefit of young people.

Looking back

The Key began life back in the late 70’s when a determined group of North East young people, youth workers and academics developed a model to engage and support young people to build skills. Over time, the model evolved into a programme to provide young people with an opportunity that empowers them to have voice and agency as they choose and lead their own activities. As an organisation, The Key has cleverly evolved and adapted over the years to the ever-changing environment for charities and young people. 

Moving Forward

Today, hundreds of youth and community organisations utilise our programme. What’s more, we’re continually finding ways to maximise its impact on young people.

We are looking forward to a bright future with ambitions to deepen our impact and inspire belief in more and more young people. Our three-year strategy looks ahead to 2025 and sets out our future focus and strategic priorities as we look to inspire belief in even more young people.

Success Stories

Every year, young people achieve great things through KEY+.
Here are just a few stories showcasing the impact of our unique programme...

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