The organisation, led by the Duke of Westminster, partners with prominent youth organisations to keep young people connected to safe spaces and youth workers in their local communities
The Westminster Foundation, which represents the charitable activity of the Duke of Westminster and Grosvenor businesses, has partnered with the Young Westminster Foundation, to sustain the long-term provision of youth clubs for young people in Westminster
The Westminster Foundation has provided a combined grant of £1.5 million over five years to support the development of key Youth Hubs. The grant will help four prominent Youth Clubs – Avenues Youth Project, St Andrew’s Youth Club, Fourth Feathers Youth and Community Centre and Future Men – as they work in partnership with other youth organisations to provide joined-up services for young people in Westminster
The aim of this collaborative approach is to build a borough-wide service for young people, drawing on the strengths and specialisms of a wide range of organisations who work hard to help young people access new opportunities and education. A key focus for the Youth Hubs will be on outreach and engagement, working with those who wouldn’t ordinarily attend youth clubs, and bring them into safe spaces with the support from trained youth workers
The funding provided by the Westminster Foundation will cover core costs for the Youth Hubs and much-needed stability and consistent support at a time of great uncertainty. There is a hidden need for youth club services in Westminster, with 1 in 3 young people growing up in poverty. Yet, youth clubs across the country are in decline due to lack of funding. Since 2011, London has lost 51% of its youth clubs and 42% of its youth workers. Nationally, English councils have cut youth service funding by an average of 40% over the past three years. New approaches such as the Youth Hub model in Westminster, will help sustain these important community spaces for future generations of young people
Youth Hubs are fun, informal, communal spaces for young people to connect with their friends, community and trusted youth workers. Often seen as a home away from home, these hubs provide a network of safe spaces for young people to socialise, learn new skills, develop their identities and potential. The Youth Hub model also allows youth workers across Westminster to come together and share best practice. These four hubs will be located strategically across the north and south of the borough, in areas identified as having a key need for young people.
Annette Fettes, Chief Executive of St. Andrew’s Youth Club, says: “We are delighted with this recognition and support for youth clubs in Westminster. We are really looking forward to deepening our partnership with the other hubs and to further strengthening our work across the youth sector.
The Duke of Westminster, Chair of the Westminster Foundation, said: “The Westminster Foundation is passionately committed to working with organisations which give young people the attention, care and direction that we should all be able to take for granted. These Youth Hubs will be a vital resource for local communities, providing safe environments for young people to develop educationally and socially.”
The Duke added: “It’s particularly important to support local youth services in the current climate. The full impact of the pandemic on the mental health of young people is yet to be seen, but the importance of the work undertaken by the charities and organisations which support them is undeniable.”