Our History

The Beginning of YES

The history of the Youth Education Service really goes back to 1964, when Anne Hewer initiated the “Bristol School Leavers Project” which was based at 14 Frederick Place and co-ordinated by Ros Jennings.

In 1972 the school leaving age was raised to sixteen and the need for this work increased. In 1973 Roger White and Dave Brockington, still YES Directors and Trustees, took over the running of the project which became known as the Bristol ROSLA project and provided informal alternative education opportunities for 15-16 year olds from local secondary schools. One of the outcomes of this work was a request from young people who had left the project for support with literacy and numeracy which led directly to the work of YES today.

In 1984, the ROSLA project became Youth Education Service, a charity and company limited by guarantee. Over the years the Youth Education Service has benefitted from the creative ideas and energies of many talented people and been associated with some remarkable local and national developments, including the Bayswater Centre alternative school, Avon Young Persons’ Housing Project, Avon Training Agency, the Pascual Flores sail training ship, Bush Telegraph theatre group and Jobstart. As a publisher of educational materials in the 1980s, YES was responsible for printing and distributing the initial versions of the Youth Award Scheme materials that led to the creation of ASDAN as a national and internationally renowned curriculum development and examinations organisation.

National bodies have recognised our skills in designing teaching and learning materials, for example, in 1990 we were commissioned by ALBSU to design exemplar materials for the City & Guilds Wordpower and Numberpower accreditation and 2010 a YES tutor developed teaching and learning materials for the Skills for Life Support Programme Action Research and Development Project.


Locally, strong partnerships with Avon and later Bristol third sector organisations have resulted in benefits for young people. Current partnerships include supporting the Creative Youth Network’s Creative Careers courses and providing a drop-in English session at Bristol Foyer. YES is one of the approved providers on the Framework.

YES works with Bristol City Council’s Learning Communities Team to provide a variety of courses for adults where literacy and numeracy are embedded. Last year these included History and Social Change, Health and Wellbeing and Managing your Money.


During the summer of 2017 we moved from our beloved Fred’s Place to Hide Market, West Street, BS2 0BH.