OnSide Youth Zones is delighted to announce that Nick Sleep has been appointed as Chair of Croydon Youth Zone.
A supporter of OnSide, the charity developing the facility, Nick says he is excited to take on the role and extend the charity’s network of Youth Zones to Croydon.
Nick grew up in Berkshire and Hampshire before moving to South London where he has lived with his wife and three daughters for 20 years. In 2001 he founded and ran an investment partnership which provided long-term backing for a small number of promising companies.
In 2014, Nick and his wife founded a charitable foundation which now supports OnSide.
Being so close to Croydon, Nick was approached by OnSide to lead the Youth Zone, which was named Legacy by young people of the borough.
Legacy will offer Croydon’s young people somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to with facilities and activities ranging from sports such as football, basketball and badminton on the state-of-the-art 3G kick pitch and indoor four-court sports hall, to arts, music, cooking and enterprise and employability as well as a huge climbing wall.
The centre, which will be located in Thornton Heath where Whitehorse Road meets Boulogne Road, will be open seven days a week for young people between 8 and 19, and up to 25 for those with additional needs.
Nick said: “The Youth Zone offer is compelling on so many levels. To me, the Council donating land and money, donors giving money, entrepreneurs putting in time and expertise, and volunteers giving their time and care, all to help OnSide give young people somewhere to go, something to do and someone talk to – well, that strikes me as the world working properly.
“I am as excited about OnSide as I was when I set up my own firm 16 years ago. It is that important to me. The build is fab, and the young people are so enthusiastic. We aim to build an OnSide ecosystem in which we can all be justifiably proud with its roots deep into the Croydon community.”
Croydon Council has donated £3.25million towards the £6million construction costs with OnSide raising the rest through external contributors such as the Queen’s Trust, the Stone Family Foundation and the Fidelity UK Foundation.
Following the approval of a planning application last month, building work will begin in the new year and once open, the Youth Zone will cost just £5 per year to be a member and then just 50p per visit.