Why your help is needed
St Andrew's Club, Westminster's best kept secret
There are many hurdles for a young person growing up in South Westminster - tight family budgets, intimidation of local estate tensions, many threats facing young people such as drugs, knives, body image and social media bullying.
St Andrew's Club is a ‘neutral’ environment, where committed and talented youth workers, helped by many volunteers, provide activities that are relevant in a safe, attractive building to around 700 members each year.
This year the Club is celebrating its 150th anniversary. This makes it not just the oldest youth club in London, but - we confidently believe - the whole world.
But our continued existence has become almost entirely dependent upon the generosity of individual, charitable and corporate donations. We were privileged to be supported for many years with regular funding from Westminster City Council. These grants have now been cut, but our work continues. We need to raise around £400,000 every year to keep the Club alive.
Help us give every young person in Westminster, and many beyond, the chance to thrive and give back to society through the varied youth programmes at St Andrew's Club - a priceless contribution to the local community.
Each year the Club provides a sense of belonging and fun to around 700 members from five years old through to adulthood, where they develop self-confidence, respect for others and build their abilities to contribute to their local community as good citizens.
It has no religious affiliations and is open to all, with members paying only a very modest annual subscription.
Many members live locally in Westminster and come from homes on very tight budgets. Hidden between Westminster Abbey and the Home Office, St Andrew’s is in a neighbourhood classified in the top 5% most deprived in England (17% of the local St James’s Ward is in this bracket according to The Index of Multiple Deprivation 2015).
Spread over a three storey, purpose built premises, we offer something for everyone – from archery to music production, cookery to chess, capoeira to fashion, health and beauty courses, karate to arts and crafts; in addition we field several football teams every weekend. As well as providing in-house training we work with external partners to extend our offering to members – including projects with SMMT, Snow-Camp, the Supreme Court and the English National Opera.
The Club places great emphasis on assisting young people with training and employment opportunities and has trained over 100 youth workers and football coaches in the last 20 years. We open during the day to offer gym and computer facilities to older members and alumni who are not in full time work or education.