Visit to OnSide Youth Zone
In March, The Master, Renter Warden (Chris Porter) and IPM’s Bryan Burrough and Richard Watling had a first hand viewing at Future, the brand new facility to be opened by the charity OnSide Youth Zone for young people in Barking & Dagenham in April.
Barking and Dagenham Youth Zone joins a network of Youth Zones across the country, with over 25,000 members enjoying facilities based in the Wirral, Wolverhampton, Manchester, Oldham, Wigan, Blackburn and Bolton.
The Barking and Dagenham site is the first to open in London. Ranked the 3rd most deprived local authority in England, almost 1/3 of children in the borough live in low-income families. 1 in 10 adults are out of work in Barking & Dagenham – the highest unemployment rate of any London borough.
37% of children live in poverty in Barking and Dagenham, 6th worst in London and young people there make up 21% of total population.
The site, when open, will be a place where friendships can be forged and will be open seven days a week for young people to have use of a sports hall, music studio, boxing ring, and cooking facilities and quiet rooms for reading and discussion. The centre aims to teach young people new skills, help build friendships and provide support. They leave feeling confident and positive about their future, with renewed sense of belonging, place and purpose.
Hosted by their indefatigable CEO, Gavin Evans, our Distillers Group’s tour were left in no doubt that the decision to support Future, the chosen charity of the Lord Mayor, was one that we should support and in turn give support to Future. A chance to help young people in one of London’s most deprived boroughs. A chance to fulfil potential away.
Future Barking & Dagenham had it’s official opening by HRH Price Harry on April 11thwhich was attended by the Master in recognition of the Distillers Charity’s contribution.
We look forward to maintaining close links with Future and learning of the many positive stories that will emerge from it.