Action Centres UK

Organization Description: 

Action Centres UK is the wholly owned operating company of the registered charity, Northamptonshire Association of Youth Clubs (NAYC). Established in 1961 by the late Rev Harry Whittaker MBE, NAYC has extended its influence and involvement far beyond the county boundaries of Northamptonshire.

Operating upon a foundation of Christian principles and offering service regardless of race, religion or creed, NAYC has over 45 years experience in providing people with opportunities.

Action Centres UK has developed some of the finest residential and activity facilities of any youth association, with its modern Conference Centres, wide ranging and wonderfully equipped Activity Centres together catering for well over a hundred thousand people every year. The highly motivated management team includes the HQ staff, the managers of all the varied projects, highly skilled instructors, dedicated hospitality teams, volunteers and a host of others involved in the every day activities of all the Centres.

We are most excited by the special connection our instructors make with the young people we serve at our Centres each year. The instructors fully appreciate not only their safety responsibilities but also their duty to the psychological development of the young people in their charge. They therefore seek to be good role models and lead their lives, both on and off duty, as good examples to the young people who inevitably end up holding them in high esteem.

10 years ago Action Centres UK was attracting something like 30,000 people a year. That figure has now grown to in excess of 100,000 a year. That measure of success speaks for itself!

But there is a further ingredient that has made the Association so successful. By providing facilities of a high standard, they have not only been able to attract school parties almost year-round, but also been able to attract a large number of organisations to use the centres for conferences, training courses, house parties and the like. The net result has been that all the Action Centres UK facilities are now in constant use for at least eleven months of the year. There is an added bonus. They can also, if they so wish, make use of all the activities provided on site for relaxation or as a development tool for their programme.

Organizational Email:
King's Park
Northampton, NN3 6LL
Mission Statement: 

Northamptonshire Association of Youth Clubs, Charity Number 803431, was established in 1961 to help young people develop physically, mentally and spiritually. NAYC aims to expand the horizons of young people irrespective of their economic situation, education, ability, disability or disadvantages.

The aim of NAYC is to help and educate young people, especially, but not exclusively through their leisure-time activities, to develop their physical, mental and spiritual capacities that they may grow to full maturity as individuals and as members of society. This is achieved by bringing together people who are willing to further the aim to stimulate interest in the work of Youth Groups and assist in finding Youth Workers to unite Youth Groups in the County of Northamptonshire; to assist the work of existing Youth Groups and help in the formation and development of new groups to assist in organising conferences and Training Courses for Youth Workers, Members and others interested in the welfare of young people.

Strategies for achieving the objectives have included building and development of a number of major facilities, including the Hereward Wake Training and Conference Centre, Benham Sports Arena and Indoor Tennis Centre at King’s Park, Northampton; Frontier Centre near Irthlingborough – now run in conjunction with the Barnabas Trust; Pioneer Activity and Conference Centre – near Kidderminster; The Ranch Discovery Centre in North Wales; and an Expedition Base on the Isle of Harris In the Outer Hebrides – now known as the Scaladale Centre and run in conjunction with the Lewis and Harris Youth Clubs Association.

Organizational Statement of Faith: 

The motivation of our work springs from the personal faith of the Staff. A love of God issuing in a love for others.

The aims and objectives of our work are to serve young people and their needs rather than a mission to win their allegiance. To serve in Christ's name all kinds of young people and not to be restrictive or exclusive. To serve in a completely open and secular setting.

Our aim is not to 'Preach and Convert' but to serve and help. To achieve this we have had to provide 'Tools to do a Job'. Our job is clear to us - the tools we have provided are our services and centres. Attitudes often alienate adults from the young and create a generation gap. We have tried to offer, through our services, centres and staff 'un-judging friendship', 'non judgmental attitudes', 'accepting love', to create a bridge over the gap.

Our methods of fund raising - To depend, whenever possible, on Direct Giving rather than on money raising methods, for two reasons (i) to set an example to the young people we seek to serve and lead, and (ii) to relieve our staff from time-consuming efforts, so that they can devote their time and energies to the real job in hand.

Faith - There has always been a deep element of Faith in God. A Faith in people and a faith in God. A faith to believe that if something is needed and it is right, and action is taken, provision will be made for that something.

Responding to the need - The Association's work has developed through an awareness of need and attempting to do something about meeting that need, often in cooperation with others.

The function of the staff - The Association has endeavoured, over the years to appoint men and women to its staff who are committed to the Christian way of life and who feel a sense of dedication to their job. It has been found that then they can be trusted to get on with their job, with support and guidance.

The right kind of support - The Association has been blessed through the years with a Board that invested trust in the appointed full-time staff, who have filled a role of being supportive, encouraging and constructive in their guidance. This has been one of the main strengths of the Association.

Compiled by the late Rev. Harry Whittaker MBE.

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