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This article chimes with our learning from the national Young People Friendly Neighbourhoods programme across 20 neighbourhoods seeking sustainable youth work support through community partnerships. First, a shared vision is essential, yet often hard to develop among factional and too often self-serving outside organisations. Second, housing partners have been essential, on occasions bringing long term commitment and leadership. Third, any positive moves at a local community level still need to be appreciated and engaged with by commissioners and funders who are struggling to move from being control centres of power and money to enablers of community conversation and supporters and investors in locally owned and managed solutions.