the girls clubs’ and youth clubs’ collection

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infed archives


National Organization of Girl's Club logo Here we have the beginnings of a collection of materials linked to what began as the National Organization of Girls Clubs in 1911. Today the organization is known as UK Youth – but it has gone through various titles including the National Association of Girls and Mixed Clubs and the National Association of Youth Clubs. Many of the writers were directly involved in the organization and its forerunners either as officers or as workers. Others, wrote specially for it.

We have split the materials up into three periods – and provided links to supporting articles.

Early days –  girls clubs

Brooke – The Honor Club. In this short article taken from Girls Clubs News (June 1912) Evelyn Brooke reports on her work in the Honor Club.

Emmeline Pethick (1899) – Working girls’ clubs. Emmeline Pethick reflects on some early and highly innovative work with girls and young women.

Maude Stanley – the way to start and run a girls’ clubs: Maude Stanley’s (1890) handbook Clubs for Working Girls was the first substantial exploration of what was involved in girls’ club work. Here we reproduce Chapter II. In it Stanley sets out her view of some of the key characteristics of such work. See, also: Maude Stanley and the making of girls clubs.

Maude Stanley – ‘night schools’: This piece provides an insight into the way in which parish visitors approached their tasks – in particular, how they related schooling and club work to outreach. Taken from Chapter IX of Maude Stanley’s (1878) Work About The Five Dials, London: Macmillan.

The girls and mixed clubs period

Josephine Macalister Brew and others – Why clubs at all? In this (1943) piece Josephine Macalister Brew and others explore the rationale for club work. Clubs are viewed as societies of growing persons and as places where people can learn to play their part in communities. There is strong plea for a concern with the spirit and of leaders understanding their role as that of guide, philosopher and friend.

See, also: Josephine Macalister Brew and informal education.

The youth club  period

Joan Matthews – Professional Skill. An important statement of the role of supervision and social groupwork.

Fred Milson – Growing with the Job: In this popular pamphlet from 1968, Fred Milson makes the case for attending to the growth and development of workers. See, also: Fred Milson: developing the practice of youth and community work

Fred Milson – Why am I a Youth Worker? Fred Milson (1972) argues that youth workers properly have several goals and motives, and that a hierarchy of purposes appears. The motive and goal that should be given first priority is for individual personality development – but this has to be fulfilled in social relationships and community involvement.

Lesley Sewell – Looking at youth clubs. E. Lesley Sewell’s (1966) pamphlet is a youth work classic, the reference point for many when thinking about the work they were observing. See, also, Lesley Sewell and youth work

Mark Smith – Creators not consumers. Rediscovering social education:  The full text of the 1982 edition.

Alan Rogers – Starting out in detached work. A classic pamphlet exploring the experience of detached youth work.