The Westminster Foundation invests £1.5m to support new Youth Hubs across Westminster

The organisation, led by the Duke of Westminster, partners with prominent youth organisations to keep young people connected to safe spaces and youth workers in their local communities

The Westminster Foundation, which represents the charitable activity of the Duke of Westminster and Grosvenor businesses, has partnered with the Young Westminster Foundation, to sustain the long-term provision of youth clubs for young people in Westminster.

The Westminster Foundation has provided a combined grant of £1.5 million over five years to support the development of key Youth Hubs. The grant will help four prominent Youth Clubs - Avenues Youth Project, St Andrew’s Youth Club, Fourth Feathers Youth and Community Centre and Future Men – as they work in partnership with other youth organisations to provide joined-up services for young people in Westminster.

The aim of this collaborative approach is to build a borough-wide service for young people, drawing on the strengths and specialisms of a wide range of organisations who work hard to help young people access new opportunities and education. A key focus for the Youth Hubs will be on outreach and engagement, working with those who wouldn’t ordinarily attend youth clubs, and bring them into safe spaces with the support from trained youth workers.


The funding provided by the Westminster Foundation will cover core costs for the Youth Hubs and much-needed stability and consistent support at a time of great uncertainty. There is a hidden need for youth club services in Westminster, with 1 in 3 young people growing up in poverty. Yet, youth clubs across the country are in decline due to lack of funding. Since 2011, London has lost 51% of its youth clubs and 42% of its youth workers[1]. Nationally, English councils have cut youth service funding by an average of 40% over the past three years. New approaches such as the Youth Hub model in Westminster, will help sustain these important community spaces for future generations of young people.

Youth Hubs are fun, informal, communal spaces for young people to connect with their friends, community and trusted youth workers. Often seen as a home away from home, these hubs provide a network of safe spaces for young people to socialise, learn new skills, develop their identities and potential.The Youth Hub model also allows youth workers across Westminster to come together and share best practice. These four hubs will be located strategically across the north and south of the borough, in areas identified as having a key need for young people.

Annette Fettes, Chief Executive of St. Andrew’s Youth Club, says: “We are delighted with this recognition and support for youth clubs in Westminster. We are really looking forward to deepening our partnership with the other hubs and to further strengthening our work across the youth sector.”

The Duke of Westminster, Chair of the Westminster Foundation, said: “The Westminster Foundation is passionately committed to working with organisations which give young people the attention, care and direction that we should all be able to take for granted. These Youth Hubs will be a vital resource for local communities, providing safe environments for young people to develop educationally and socially.”

The Duke added: “It’s particularly important to support local youth services in the current climate. The full impact of the pandemic on the mental health of young people is yet to be seen, but the importance of the work undertaken by the charities and organisations which support them is undeniable.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

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Photos:

The photos above were taken during a visit by Hugh Grosvenor, The Duke of Westminster to St Andrew's Youth Club in early 2020, before lockdown.

About Westminster Foundation

The Westminster Foundation is an independent organisation representing the charitable activity of The Duke of Westminster and Grosvenor businesses, that provides long term sustainable help and direction to vulnerable young lives. Led by The Duke of Westminster, it is passionately committed to giving young people the attention, care and direction that we should all be able to take for granted. It believes that early positive intervention is critical to set the direction of a healthy, secure and fulfilling life. The Foundation’s funding is ordinarily focused on creating opportunities for young people (0-25) and their families to have the resilience, skills and capacity to lead happy and healthy lives. Through creating these opportunities, it aims to tackle the causes and impact of inter-generational inequality. The Foundation is providing additional resources in different areas of focus in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Website: www.westminsterfoundation.org.uk

Twitter: @WestminsterFdn

About Young Westminster Foundation (YWF)

YWF is a cross-sector partnership of member and partner organisations who have the shared vision for all young people in the borough of Westminster to grow up healthy, safe and happy with the best opportunities for brighter futures. YWF brings together youth organisations, young people, businesses, Westminster City Council, schools and the wider community to shape opportunities and create the best services for young people. YWF’s 100 members range from large youth clubs to smaller grass roots organisations; all driven by their passion to provide support services that give life changing support to Westminster’s young people.

Website: www.ywfoundation.com

Twitter: @ywestfound

Instagram: @youngwestminsterfoundation

About St Andrew’s Youth Club

Founded in 1866, St Andrew's is the world’s oldest youth club, enriching young lives of local young people. With many on tight family budgets, St Andrew’s gives its members the chance to thrive and give back to society through a wide variety of youth programmes - sport, art, practical skills, trips out and training – helping their educational, social and personal development. Contact: annette@standrewsclub.com

About Avenues Youth Project

The Avenues Youth Project in North Westminster provides a safe space for 600 young people (age 8-18) out of school hours and during holidays, in one of the 10% most deprived neighbourhoods in the UK. Led by an experienced team of youth workers, focusing on socialisation, fitness and skills development, activities take place in a professional kitchen, dance studio, sports hall, classroom, art studio, music studio and radio broadcasting suite. The aim of the project is to support and motivate local children and young people to broaden their horizons, and become healthy, confident young adults, motivated and equipped with the skills to make the most of their futures.

Contact: info@avenues.org.uk

About Fourth Feathers Youth & Community Centre

The Fourth Feathers Youth and Community Centre offers a wealth of opportunities for young people living in Marylebone and the surrounding areas. During the covid-19 crisis, the club has focussed on outreach work in the local community, distribution of activity packs to local families, daytime access to the club for families and an online youth club.Over the summer, the club’s street youth work team will be working with young people in the community, serving food, providing information and liaising with the wider community. Contact: andrew.mederick@feathersassociation.org.uk

About Future Men

Future Men runs Churchill Gardens Youth Hub in the South of Westminster. Churchill Gardens provides a space for young people aged 8-19 to take part in activities such as music production, sport and games, as well as development programmes such as healthy relationships, inclusion and diversity training. Bridging the gap between formal and non-formal education, Future Men help young people learn about themselves, and others around them to create positive outcomes for their futures. Contact: i.williams@futuremen.org



[1] London’s Lost Youth Services 2019, Sian Berry