Now more than ever young people are needing access to safe and inspiring places to find their passion and their purpose. We’ve teamed up with Amazon UK to highlight the important role youth centres play in helping young people to access opportunities and unlock their potential. To celebrate our work with Amazon UK and their generous donation to OnSide, last night BAFTA award winner and star of The Woman King, John Boyega, paid a surprise visit to Legacy, Croydon Youth Zone, helping to unveil a huge Amazon Christmas gift.
The Star Wars actor spoke to members about his journey from The Big Smoke to the big screen, demonstrating why it’s vitally important for young people to have access to safe, vibrant youth spaces, like Youth Zones, as John shared that he found his passion through a hyper-local after-school drama project.
John spent the evening at Legacy Youth Zone; listening to a track recording in the music studio, joining a training session at the boxing ring, and helping to cook up a storm in the training kitchen.
John Boyega, actor, said:
“We didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up so I know how important it is to have free spaces and activities outside of the home. I was lucky that I had my father’s church and a local community drama group at Theatre Peckham, so I had places to go, and opportunities to dream. That’s why places like Legacy Youth Zone in Croydon are so important for the next generation – we just need more of them, all across the country so young people have a safe space to be themselves and have the opportunity to discover their passions in life, just as I did.”
John Boumphrey, Amazon UK Country Manager, said:
“Young people are at risk of becoming this century’s lost generation as they live through a cost-of-living crisis, while still reeling from the global pandemic. We were inspired by OnSide’s mission to have a life-changing impact on this generation. Our team at Amazon has committed products, funds, and programming to OnSide for their network of inspiring Youth Zones supporting 50,000 young people across the UK. This is part of our wider commitment to act as a force for good in the communities where we operate, and we’re proud to have worked with over 10,000 organisations across the UK in the last 12 months alone, that also focus on young people.”
Our incoming Chief Executive, Jamie Masraff, said,
“Every young person deserves access to safe, inspiring spaces, where they can discover their passions and their purpose. Youth Zones offer many thousands of young people in communities nationwide a chance to have fun, make friends and try new things all with help from trusted youth workers – vital support which builds self-esteem and resilience, laying the foundations for them to thrive into adulthood. Working with organisations like Amazon means that we can help many more young people access the benefits of incredible youth work, within Youth Zones designed to meet their needs.
Yesterday’s event marks the start of our relationship with Amazon UK who is kindly providing financial support, product donations and access to inspiring people across its workforce and network through volunteering schemes. Amazon locations across the UK are linking up with our Network of Youth Zones to support their individual needs, from fundraising support to product donations, volunteering to mentorship.
Thank you to the Amazon team and John Boyega for delivering smiles to Croydon’s young people this Christmas. We’re also proud to be Amazon UK’s charity pick this festive season. If you’re getting gifts for family and friends, you can shop and do some good when you buy through Amazon UK. Each time you shop you can support OnSide, at no cost to you!