Barking and Dagenham’s Future Youth Zone will open its doors to residents with a huge party this Saturday, 18th May!
The whole community is invited to the incredible venue for a celebration like no other with fun, games and a whole range of the Youth Zone’s activities open to enjoy between noon and 3pm.
It will also be the only chance that adults can take a look inside as once the opening party finishes, the building belongs to young people! Following the event, the Youth Zone will go straight into an after-party for its senior members (aged 13 and upwards).
The facility was formally opened by HRH the Duke of Sussex last month and this community opening will see the start of the Youth Zone’s full offer and regular timetable for young people, aged 8-19 and up to 25 with additional needs.
Amongst the incredible range of facilities at the Youth Zone are a four-court sports hall, 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. The centre will also offer mentoring and counselling as well as enterprise and employability workshops.
An amazing, dedicated staff team consisting of trained youth workers and volunteers will be on hand every day to help young people have fun and to give them someone to talk to.
All this will cost young people just £5 annual membership and then 50p every time they visit.
The Youth Zone is being developed by the national charity OnSide Youth Zones, which has a network of 10 other centres across the country… but ‘Future’ – named by Barking and Dagenham’s young people – will be the first in London.
As such, the grand opening will take on a film premiere theme so get your glad rags on and prepare for a first glimpse into the Future!
Future Youth Zone CEO Gavin Evans said: “It is incredible to be opening our doors to Barking and Dagenham’s young people – we are so excited to give them somewhere amazing to go, with so many things to do and someone to talk to.
“I’d just like to thank everybody who has helped get us to this stage; Cllr Darren Rodwell and everybody at Barking and Dagenham Council, all of our wonderful funders and the entire Barking and Dagenham community which has been so welcoming and supportive. We are so proud to be London’s first OnSide Youth Zone and can’t wait to get started!”
OnSide Youth Zones has worked in partnership with Barking and Dagenham Council, which has provided the site as well as £3million towards the £6.15million construction costs.
The Queen’s Trust and the Jack Petchey Foundation have both contributed £1.5million with the Lord Mayor’s Appeal and the Seroussi Foundation, via UBS Optimus Foundation and Vistra Jersey, funding the remainder.
Barking and Dagenham Council Leader Cllr Darren Rodwell said: “I’m so proud that we are opening London’s first ever Youth Zone which will offer a safe place to go and activities for up to 1,500 young people every week. It will give our young people access to fantastic activities including sports, dance, IT and even rock climbing.
“This will be the best facility for young people in London and it will absolutely change our young peoples’ lives, supporting their well-being, and helping to shape their future aspirations. I can’t wait for us to open the doors on Saturday and welcome young people to our huge launch party.
“In times when there are serious reductions in grants to public services, Future Youth Zone is an excellent example showing how partnership working can be a success between the private sector, the Council, community organisations and our residents.”
The annual running costs for the Youth Zone are being funded by a range of trusts, grants and private sector and philanthropic contributions.
Future Youth Zone is expecting the opening to be a busy event and is asking guests to be mindful and respectful to our neighbours when arriving, leaving and parking as there are no parking facilities at the venue.
The Youth Zone will be open seven days a week with different sessions for juniors (8-12) and seniors (13-19 and up to 25 for those with additional needs). There will also be a ‘Futurebility’ session every Sunday solely for young people with additional needs.
To sign up as a member, click here.