A Voice for Young People

We empower vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people to have a voice. 

Through our unique multi-media journalism programme children and young people research and produce stories for publication and broadcast about issues that concern them and campaign for change in their communities. Young people from Headliners (UK) have had their stories and campaigns told on BBC, SKY and ITV and many local TV, radio stations and online.

Our learning programme improves the educational and employment prospects for young people, brings young people together from different backgrounds and experiences to improve community relations and helps them make good choices in their own lives. Our young people can gain accreditation in a range of digital media skills, journalism and personal progression.

Young people are involved in decision making across the organisation and four of our Trustees are former participants in the Headliners (UK) programme.

We work with young people in London, North East England and Northern Ireland.

It's really good that we've had the chance to voice our opinions so that people can hear there is people like us looking for help and when the right help is given we'll take it..

Young person in custody, 2015

Our achievements

Since Headliners started in 1994, we have worked with over 10,500 young people and they have produced more than 6,000 stories on issues important to them.

Review of 2019 – 2020 Charitable Activities

Headliners (UK) were delighted to win a new contract to deliver the Government’s NCS programme in the North East of England for the next three years. This will build on our previous eight years delivery working with 15 to 17 year olds to give them a voice, promote independence and social cohesion and engagement with the community. More than 375 young people took part in adventurous and challenging activities in 2019-20 culminating in designing and delivering their own social action projects. 

The charity was successful in receiving further support from the Lloyds Bank Foundation Invest funding scheme which has enabled us to work with young people transitioning from care to independence. Our 'Digital Transitions' project blends group engagement activities, 1-2-1 mentoring and employability skills training backed by a hands-on, accredited media programme to promote young people's personal and social development, as well as equipping them with the skills and experience to stand on their own two feet.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund awarded Headliners (UK) two years’ funding to work with young people from new, emerging and established communities in North and South Tyneside, Newcastle and Gateshead to unearth, document and share their communities’ unique (im)migration stories. The young people will capture their stories through photography projects and oral histories for exhibition across Tyne and Wear and enrich the archives of local museums and galleries.

Achievements and Performance of 2019- 2020

  • Headliners (UK) supported 654 disadvantaged children and young people in England and Northern Ireland in 2019-2020
  • 380 young people were involved in social action and community cohesion projects, building better relations in their communities and volunteering.
  • 140 young people aged 14 and over were registered for accreditation in journalism, communication, technical skills and skills for professions in the creative and digital industries.
  • We built 46 new partnerships with other organisations enabling us to reach new cohorts of disadvantaged young people and add value to youth provision.
  • Headliners (UK) has had significant influence in promoting young people’s views and voices through a range of online media outlets.

Headliners (UK) Impact:

The impact of the projects delivered during 2019/20 has:

  • increased young people’s involvement in social action and civic engagement
  • empowered vulnerable young people with special educational needs to reduce their likelihood of being drawn into criminal activity
  • Given young people leaving care the power and means to take control over their own lives and have a more meaningful voice in their futures

Evidence that shows that involvement in Headliners (UK) programme significantly improves individual outcomes for young people:

  • 90% of young people said they felt their contribution was valued
  • 59% of young people said they cared about their community more
  • 70% of young people said they felt they were able to give their own opinion
  • 78% of young people had better job prospects / did better at school
  • 89% of young people felt more confident talking to groups of people
  • 90% of young people would recommend Headliners (UK)

We have developed a number of priorities for young people in the period 2018-2021 which are outlined in our strategic plan

These include:

  • Improving the choices and opportunities for the most socially isolated young people in the North East, London and Northern Ireland enabling these young people to become more independent, socially equal, employment-ready and active citizens.
  • Increasing opportunities for young people to be heard in their own authentic voice, challenging perceptions and to influence and create change for young people.
  • Creating a movement of people – new trustees, volunteers and friends of Headliners - getting behind young people in their area to help them achieve their goals.

Our plans are also outlined in our latest annual report and accounts


Headliners (UK) views complaints as an opportunity to learn and improve for the
future, as well as a chance to put things right for the person or organisation that has
made the complaint.
Our policy is:
• To provide a fair complaints procedure which is clear and easy to use for anyone
wishing to make a complaint
• To publicise the existence of our complaints procedure so that people know how to
contact us to make a complaint
• To make sure everyone at Headliners (UK) knows what to do if a complaint is
• To make sure all complaints are investigated fairly and in a timely way
• To make sure that complaints are, wherever possible, resolved and that relationships
are repaired
• To gather information which helps us to improve what we do

If you wish to make a complaint please contact us.

Safeguarding statement

Headliners (UK) is fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of children and young people involved in the organisation.  All staff, trustees and volunteers employed or engaged in this organisation accept and recognise their responsibility to develop awareness of the issues and circumstances which cause children and young people harm and, the need to take all reasonable steps to protect children and young people from neglect, physical, sexual or emotional harm.  The organisation and all those who are engaged in delivering its services will, at all times, show respect and understanding for the rights, safety and welfare of everyone engaged in the programme and will conduct themselves in a way that reflects this.

Headliners endeavours to achieve this by:

  • Providing a safe environment for all children and young people who are engaged in any aspect of the Headliners programme.  By this we mean to provide an environment where unnecessary risks are recognised and prevented.  We also recognise that some risks are inevitable and such cases we intend for those risks to be carefully managed;
  • Adopting a child/young person centred risk assessment approach so that the views and experience of children and young people are central to the development and implementation of policy;
  • Ensuring that all staff, trustees, volunteers and contractors are carefully selected, trained and supervised as appropriate to their role;
  • Sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving children, young people and their parents or carers appropriately;
  • Being aware of the possible effects of exposure to material we use to research stories, and to the people with whom our members come into contact;
  • Ensuring children, young people, their parents/carers and others involved with the organisation know how to voice concerns or complaints about anything they may not be happy with and;
  • Informing children, young people, their parents/carers and others involved with the organisation about what we do, what can be expected from us and our expectations of them towards others.


Headliners (UK) implements the following policies to ensure the above statement is a reality:

- Safeguarding and Child Protection

- Health and safety

- Financial Management

- Staff Recruitment

- Training and Development

- Staff and member’s code of conduct

- Whistleblowing Policy

- Equality and Diversity

- Complaints and Disciplinary

We are also committed to reviewing all policies and practice annually and to involving staff and children and young people in this process.

Ali Talbot

Chief Executive

Headliners (UK)