Raise Up is The Y's youth development programme

Raise Up is The Y's youth development programme for young people aged 13 - 18. It is run by youth for youth and operates from locations across New Zealand. Established at YMCA Massey, West Auckland in 2002, Raise Up has been built on the long and successful history the Y has had working with youth in local communities. Raise Up activities include a mixture of regular weekly activities, events, workshops and personal development options. These are tailored to the interests of youth in each region and could include sports, music, dance, fashion, leadership training, art and much more.

Raise Up has been designed to offer youth a safe and positive environment in which to relax, socialise and achieve their goals.  

The programme is run by Raise Up crews who are a group of selected young people representing youth in the community. They are the organising committee and driving force behind many of the events and activities operated for youth throughout The Y. 

The Raise Up crew consists of 15-20 members selected from local high schools. Young people can apply to join the crew and go through an easy selection process. Volunteering their time for approximately two hours per week, they meet, plan and implement events, weekly activities, outdoor days and educational workshops for their peers. They learn skills such as leadership and event management.

Youth events

The Y centres across New Zealand run many activities and events for young people. These can range from dance parties to artistic performances, community and sports events. Raise Up events and activities are organised by local Raise Up crews to give other local teenagers fun activities and events to socialise and showcase their talents.

Youth workshops

Raise Up offers a variety of workshops for young people to attend. Our workshops give young people a chance to gain a new experience outside of the school environment. We partner up with other organisations and services to ensure our workshops are top quality.

School Activation

All Raise Up crews can run activations within their local schools. Contact your local Raise Up crew to bring them to your school.

Weekly Activities

Each Raise Up crew runs Weekly Activities for young people in the community. These are completely free to attend and can range in a wide variety of activities from sports to music, to social hang out spaces. Check out what your local Raise Up crew is running near you!

Young Leaders training days

The Y Young Leaders Training Days have been developed for high school students who have started leadership positions at school and may need help to develop the important skills young leaders need. These skills include communication, goal setting, group participation, and confidence. Relatable to all industries, leadership training helps students gain interpersonal experience and helps build skills that they can take back to leadership positions in their schools. This interactive one day training workshop is based around learning the theory and practical workings of teams and of team work.

Youth fitness

The Y gyms offer awesome discounts for high school students; if you are keen to try out the gym and want to improve your fitness, get stronger, get more active or meet new friends then it's easy to get started. Once you join you will receive a consultation and programme to match your own goals, and our trainers will give you support and guidance so that you feel comfortable and confident in the gym.

Youth Service Endorsements

One of the major benefits of Raise Up is the youth service endorsement scheme, which is a formalised record of achievement, outlining the activities and personal development young people have achieved throughout their journey. This is a recognised accolade for the young person to use for future employers or study. Each level builds upon the previous award - e.g. the volunteer hours achieved within the bronze endorsement contribute to the silver requirement.

How to track their achievements is part of the induction to the Raise Up that young people are taken through when they join.


- Complete 160 volunteer hours - Attend 30 crew meetings - Attend two notable events - Take meeting minutes twice - Complete bronze life skills workshops - Participate in two personalised mental health and wellbeing check-ins - Reflect on journey to reach bronze


- Complete 350 volunteer hours - Attend 60 crew meetings - Attend four notable events - Take meeting minutes six times - Chair two meetings - Complete silver life skills workshops - Participate in four personalised mental health and wellbeing check-ins - Reflect on journey to reach silver


- Complete 700 volunteer hours - Attend 90 crew meetings - Attend seven notable events - Take meeting minutes ten times - Chair five meetings - Complete gold life skills workshops - Participate in six personalised mental health and wellbeing check-ins - Reflect on journey to reach gold