Home secretary visits Future Youth Zone in Dagenham ahead of its community opening on Saturday
PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 May 2019
The home secretary has been given a tour of Barking and Dagenham's Future Youth Zone ahead of its grand community opening this Saturday.
Sajid Javid visited the £6.15million youth centre in Parsloes Park, Dagenham, which has been developed by national charity OnSide Youth Zone, on Friday to see the facilities and meet with staff and youth people.
He was shown around by OnSide Youth Zones CEO Kathryn Morley, who said: "We were absolutely delighted to welcome the home secretary to Future, London's first OnSide Youth Zone.
"Everybody is so excited for the grand opening this Saturday, it is a huge milestone for us as a charity and the Home Secretary saw for himself the wonderful facilities that will be on offer to Barking and Dagenham's young people."
Future was formally opened by Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex last month and this weekend's community opening will see the start of Youth Zone's full offer and regular timetable.
- READ MORE: Prince Harry officially opens Dagenham's Future Youth Zone
Inside Dagenham's Future Youth Zone set to be opened by Prince Harry
A community celebration will be held between noon and 3pm on Saturday, which will be the only chance that the adults have to took a look inside.
The grand opening, which has a 'film premiere' theme, will be followed by an after-party for its senior members (aged 13 and older).
Future is purpose-built young people aged 8 to 19, and up to 25 for those with disabilities, at a cost of £5 annual membership and 50p per visit.
Facilities include a four-court sports hall, gym, 3G all-weather football pitch, skate park, music room with recording suite, training kitchen, dance studio, health and wellbeing room, arts and crafts area and more.
The centre will offer mentoring and counselling as well as enterprise and employability workshops.
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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.
OnSide Youth Zones has 10 other centres across the country, but Future is the first in London.
The charity has worked in partnership with Barking and Dagenham Council, which provided the site and £3million towards construction costs.
Future is expected to generate 50 jobs and require the help of 100 volunteers.
OnSide expects to welcome about 1,500 children and young visitors each week and gain about 4,000 members in its first year.
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.
"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 Queen's Trust and the Jack Petchey Foundation both contributed £1.5million towards the centre, with the Lord Mayor's Appeal and the Seroussi Foundation funding the remainder.
The annual running costs for the Youth Zone are being funded by a range of trusts, grants and private sector and philanthropic contributions.