With four Youth Zones set to open in London – three next year – OnSide has already been busy working with young people in the capital.
For the past four years, we have been delighted to recruit members for the Development Groups in Barking and Dagenham, Barnet, Croydon and Hammersmith and Fulham as well as our London-wide Ambassadors for London (AFL) group.
And now two of those members have also had the opportunity to work even closer with us following a partnership with the Rank Foundation.
Chinelo Chizea was one of the founding members of the Development Group in Croydon and last year took a gap year before starting university. The 21-year-old has been integral with OnSide’s work in South London, being involved in a number of events and important decisions for Legacy Youth Zone.
Chinelo has an incredible creative flair and OnSide applied to the Rank Foundation’s Time to Shine scheme to employ her as our Youth Communications Lead. She started her nine-month internship in January and has been instrumental in helping OnSide communicate with young people and also highlight their role in making London Youth Zones a reality.
Chinelo said: “I’ve learnt so much working with OnSide, I’ve been able to develop myself, build my character and work on my confidence. It’s been very exciting especially working with a very passionate team and all the young people. I think it’s really good the Rank Foundations provide this support for young people to explore these amazing opportunities in areas they enjoy and develop career-wise and I’m very grateful that they gave me the chance to work with OnSide.”
As Chinelo’s time comes to a close with OnSide, AFL member Leah Eastwood-Webb starts her new role. Once again, we teamed up with the Rank Foundation, this time as part of their RAP programme, to employ the 18-year-old in a youth work capacity.
Leah, who has been a fantastic leader and role model in the AFL group, will work closely with all our London Development Groups and young people as we prepare for our biggest year to date, opening new Youth Zones in Barking and Dagenham, Barnet and Croydon in 2019.
Leah said: “I’m looking forward to going along to all the Development Groups and events and just learning more about OnSide and being part of the team. I have loved working with OnSide over the last four years and can’t wait for what is to come. ”
OnSide’s Project Director Jamie Masraff said: “Having Chinelo onboard has been a huge asset to us here at OnSide, it has been incredible to see her development. She hasn’t just made an impact on the way we communicate with young people over the last nine months but influenced the way we will do in the future and we wish her all the luck in the world as she heads off to university. While we are sad to lose Chinelo, we are delighted to welcome Leah onboard. Leah has been a passionate member of our AFL group for several years now and is an extraordinary young person. When we heard about the Rank Foundation’s RAP programme, we jumped at the chance to apply for Leah.”