On Saturday 18th May, Barking & Dagenham’s brand new OnSide Youth Zone – Future opened its doors for the first time.
The grand opening for young people, which had a film premiere theme, offered everyone in the Barking & Dagenham community including young people, residents, families and friends the opportunity to see what is on offer at Future Youth Zone.
In the week leading up to the event, the Youth Zone also reached its 1,000th member!
The £6.15million building is home to a four-court sports hall, state of the art gym, 3G all-weather pitch, skate park, music room with recording suite, training kitchen, dance studio, health and well-being room, arts and crafts area and much more.
In keeping with the film premiere theme, the team at Future rolled out the red carpet for guests to walk on as they entered the Youth Zone, while local press and ‘paparazi’ snapped all the special guests in attendance.
Future Youth Zone CEO Gavin Evans said: “What an amazing day – thank you so much to everyone who came out to show their support. We are so excited to get going and to already have 1,000 members is incredible.
“We cannot thank the countless people who have made this day possible enough and we should all be proud that we have given young people in Barking and Dagenham somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to.”
All guests were then treated to tours of the facility as well as video speeches from young people, Future’s dedicated team of staff and Barking and Dagenham Council Leader Cllr Darren Rodwell, with the council contributing £3million of the £6.15 million construction costs.
Cllr Rodwell said: “It’s such a proud day for Barking and Dagenham to become home to London’s first OnSide Youth Zone. Future had over 1,000 members before it even opened its doors which gives you just a glimpse at how much our borough’s young people can’t wait to access all these amazing facilities and activities for just 50p.
“Future Youth Zone will help them build more positive and aspirational lives, meet new friends and just simply enjoy themselves.”
Now open, young people aged between 8-19 (and up to 25 with additional needs) can use Future Youth Zone to take part in a number of activities for just 50p per session.
Members are split between Juniors aged 8-12 and Seniors aged 13-19 who can secure their membership for just £5 annually.
‘Futurebility’ sessions are also planned on Sunday’s, exclusively for members with additional needs.