HRH The Duke Of Sussex will open OnSide Youth Zones’ Future Youth Zone in Barking and Dagenham on Thursday 11th April.
National youth charity OnSide Youth Zones is set to add to its network of ten Youth Zones, with its first three set to open in London in 2019.
The new Youth Zones in Barking and Dagenham, Barnet and Croydon represent a capital investment of £20 million alone, with a further £4 million per year earmarked for operating costs.
During his visit the Duke of Sussex will meet young people from across London who have been involved in its development.
Each Youth Zone houses an indoor climbing wall, 3G kick pitch, dance and drama studio, music room with recording studio, fully equipped gym, arts and crafts room, enterprise and employability suite, martial arts studio, training kitchen and much more.
The Duke has previously visited several OnSide Youth Zones centre’s including those in Wigan and most recently in Birkenhead in January this year with The Duchess. He also hosted a reception for the charity at Kensington Palace alongside David Walliams.
Kathryn Morley, Chief Executive of OnSide Youth Zones said: “What young people need now more than ever is somewhere safe and inspiring to spend their leisure time. They need affordable access to fun and engaging activities and opportunities which will allow them to discover their talents, develop their skills and realise their full potential – this ambition is the driving force behind OnSide Youth Zones.
“We are delighted to be recognised as an important charity for young people by HRH The Duke of Sussex and look forward to showing him the type of tremendous youth provision coming to London this year.
“A huge thank you to OnSide’s valued supporters whose commitment will change the lives of thousands of young people living in London for years to come.”
OnSide Youth Zones’ innovative multi-sector funding model combines funding from local authorities, philanthropists, businesses, charitable grants and revenues generated by the Youth Zones themselves.
The charity has ambitious plans to work with local authorities and businesses across the UK to create Youth Zones that provide more opportunities for young people in disadvantaged areas.
John Roberts, Chairman for OnSide Youth Zones added: “This is the latest step on a journey to create a national infrastructure of world class youth provision. All young people deserve the opportunities that those in Barking and Dagenham now have and we’re so excited to watch them thrive as a result.
“Our first London Youth Zone is a huge achievement and a very proud day so I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in making this a reality.”
“We can’t thank HRH The Duke of Sussex enough for helping us raise awareness of the work we’re doing to support the health, wellbeing and prospects of current and future generations.”
OnSide’s Youth Zones provide open-access universal provision for over 40,000 young people across its existing network of 10 Youth Zones, with centres in Bolton, Blackburn, Carlisle, Manchester, Oldham, Wigan, Wirral, Wolverhampton, Warrington and Chorley.
The three new London Youth Zones will see the national charity reach a further 12,000 young people from across the capital.
Open seven days a week, offering over 20 activities per night, each Youth Zone claims only to provide young people with somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to, however, in reality, the safe spaces give young people so much more.