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Minister for Civil Society Visits

10th April 2015 by Onside Youth Zones

We recently welcomed the Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson to our Wigan Youth Zone to see how the facility has developed since its opening and to examine the possibility of future collaboration between the Government and our charity, to support future facilities across the country.

Mr Wilson was able to take a tour of the facility, speak with local young people about their experiences, as well as meet with our Chairman, Bill Holroyd and Chief Executive, Kathryn Morley.

Mr Wilson said: “Wigan Youth Zone is an incredible resource for local young people with fantastic facilities.

“Youth Zones are demonstrating an ambitious way of delivering services for young people and showing what is possible with a combination of private and public funding. It is a model that I would like to see replicated across England wherever it is possible to do so.”

Mr Wilson leads on the civil society agenda and has lead responsibility for the Big Society agenda, youth policy, social action and social investment.

During his tour he chatted to Deanery High School pupils about their favourite parts of the Youth Zone, met volunteers and talked to young people and local company Attain on how they have benefitted from the Get a Job course.

Commenting on the visit, Bill Holroyd, Chairman at OnSide Youth Zones said: “As Youth Zones embody the Prime Minister’s original Big Society proposal, the Government really should grab the model with both hands. I am sure Mr Wilson would have been bowled over by his visit to Wigan Youth Zone as they, like our other facilities, are doing an outstanding job of supporting young people across the North West.

“As a country we need to be doing more to protect and nourish the futures of our young people and Youth Zones offer an ideal solution to achieve this. The dynamic partnership created between the public and private sector, young people and the community all working together to drive the success, is key to ensuring that opportunities for young people are of the highest quality and of course sustainable.”

Mr Wilson was joined on his visit by colleagues from the Cabinet Office and Leader of the Council Lord Peter Smith, Chief Executive of Wigan Youth Zone John Harker.