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Youth club opened by Prince Harry welcomes 4,000th member

PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 August 2019

Future Youth Zone has had 4,000 young people sign up as members in the first two months. Picture: Future Youth Zone

Future Youth Zone has had 4,000 young people sign up as members in the first two months. Picture: Future Youth Zone

Future Youth Zone

More than 4,000 young people have joined a Dagenham youth club in its first two months.

Prince Harry with young people at the Future Youth Zone in Dagenham. Picture: Ken MearsPrince Harry with young people at the Future Youth Zone in Dagenham. Picture: Ken Mears

Future Youth Zone, on the edge of Parsloes Park, welcomed its first members in May, shortly after its official opening by Prince Harry.

And in that time, it has been visited more than 20,000 times - an average of five visits per member.

Open every night of the week, the centre recently hosted a talent competition with members having the chance to perform at the Royal Albert Hall alongside other young people from across the OnSide Youth Zone network.

CEO Gavin Evans said: "Since opening Future Youth Zone, the energy and enthusiasm from all the stakeholders involved in the Youth Zone has been incredible.

Tthe Future Youth Zone in Dagenham. Picture: Ken MearsTthe Future Youth Zone in Dagenham. Picture: Ken Mears

"We will continue to be ambitious for the young people of this borough because they deserve the very best."

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He added: "I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone involved.

"To our funders - this wouldn't happen without your support; to our staff and volunteers, you are amazing and have given young people somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to; and finally to young people, their families and the wider Barking and Dagenham community, a huge thank you for embracing what we want to do and getting behind this incredible facility."

Youngsters enjoying the activities in the main hall. Picture: Melissa PageYoungsters enjoying the activities in the main hall. Picture: Melissa Page

The centre has 35 volunteers who help run activities including cooking, crafts and climbing.

Cllr Darren Rodwell, leader of Barking and Dagenham Council - which funded £3million of the building's £6.15m construction costs - is pleased with how successful the Future Youth Zone has been so far.

He said: "It's fantastic to see these numbers and to know that so many of our young people are benefiting from these facilities.

"The Future Youth Zone reflects our huge aspiration for the borough.

Young people enjoy activities at Future Youth Zone. Picture: Melissa PageYoung people enjoy activities at Future Youth Zone. Picture: Melissa Page

"There is no other centre like this in east London and the investment we are putting in is having a real positive effect on the local community."

In addition to its usual programme of weekday evening and weekend activities, Future Youth Zone will be running a daytime holiday club for eight to 12-year-olds throughout the summer. For more information and to sign up, visit futureyouthzone.org

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