Our Story

Young Asian Voices (YAV) is a multicultural youth and community project which works and supports young people as well as adults in the city of Sunderland. Since its inception in 1996, YAV has maintained a good structure and a management committee which oversees all project work.

YAV provides youth sessions, junior sessions, holiday programmes, sporting opportunities, volunteering opportunities, talent pathways, employment opportunities and various educational training to young people and adults. YAV also has an excellent reputation for delivering quality youth work and staff development within Black Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities in Sunderland and it has a strong partnership working with city of Sunderland Council.

YAV was established in 1996 to initially address the lack of provision for young people from BAME communities in Sunderland. Rooting a concrete foundation supporting predominantly Asian Communities since inception, YAV is now a fully inclusive provision working with diverse ethnicities including French, Polish and British as well as young refugees housed in Sunderland. YAV has now progressed to support over 300 young people with training, education, outreach, community integration and anti-racism work, health and social activities, youth sessions and volunteering.

YAV also runs a domestic violence and forced marriage programme with young women.

Participants accessing services are given one to one training on confidence-building and interpersonal skills irrespective of their economic background, ethnic diversity, race, colour, gender or religion. Participants are made to feel welcomed despite language or religious differences. Training sessions are provided in an unbiased manner where participants not only learn new skills but also enhance existing ones. Clients are welcomed to YAV community centre not only to discuss and have a progress update on their development or jobs, but also to offer a safe space to learn and share their own culture and discuss topics of racism, gender-gap and intercultural differences. They are given a trusted platform to explore their talents, build an understanding of themselves as an individual and the community around them, and also to support them with their wellbeing related to emotional, physical, psychological, economical, mental and financial wellbeing facilitating a smooth transition to be fulfilled adults and integrated communities.

YAV is now delivering longer term projects with the support of regional and national partners leading to further enhanced and flexible provisions. Across the city and region, YAV is recognised as a reliable deliverer of services and events ranging from supporting the city of culture bid to facilitating international and local events. YAV is an active role model in the region demonstrating best practices in engaging BAME youth and adults in sports as well as individual development and progression. YAV continues to encompass inclusion, gender equality, equal opportunities and sustainability conducts in delivery, the very values that underpin sustainable growth of a social economy.