The Youth Zone has continued to provide young people from all parts of Barking and Dagenham with a safe and inspirational place for them to go.  Our central location in the borough ensures that we are accessible for as many young people as possible although we recognise that it’s important to consider how the Youth Zone can reach even further into the community.

In the later part of 2022 we were introduced to an organisation called ‘North Meets South’ who were formed by a group of residents to ensure that the Marks Gate area that is liked and looked after; with thriving community groups and a positive ‘can do’ attitude.  The group had identified that they wanted to provide positive activities and access to Youth Workers for the young people in the Marks Gate are and that was the starting point for Future Youth Zone’s first satellite youth club.

Youth Workers from the Youth Zone opened a satellite youth club that encapsulates Future Youth Zone’s broader mission of providing young people with something to do, somewhere to go, and someone to talk to. Open two evenings a week, this new site has become a beacon of hope, breaking down barriers to participation for young people in Marks Gate and North Chadwell Heath.

The impact of Future @ Marks Gate is tangible and transformative. Through a diverse array of activities, from cooking to cricket, youth workers engage 30-40 young people per session. These sessions serve as a platform for discussions on crucial issues such as mental health and Youth Workers can provide advice that guides young people toward happier, healthier futures.

Future @ Marks Gate is more than just a satellite youth club; it’s a clear message to young people that there is opportunity in their community.  It is clear that investing in services for young people in harder-to-reach areas is not just important—it’s vital for building a future for young people that provides optimism and aspiration.

The future for young people in Marks Gate looks to be bright with investment secured via the Youth Investment Fund to redevelop the Padnall Hall into a Youth Centre which is due to open in 2025.  This will ensure that young people in the area have a space of their own and access to positive activities and role models in the long term.