THE DUKE OF SUSSEX TO OPEN BARKING AND DAGENHAM ‘FUTURE’ YOUTH ZONE
Thursday 11th April, 2019
The Duke of Sussex will open ‘Future’, a new Youth Zone in Barking and Dagenham, on Thursday 11th April.
The purpose built facility for the borough’s young people has been created by the charity OnSide Youth Zones, which is developing 21st century youth facilities across the UK. ‘Future’ Youth Zone provides a safe environment where young people can come and enjoy themselves, build key skills and raise their aspirations and confidence to create a happier and healthier generation. It is the first of three OnSide Youth Zones in London expected to open this year.
The Duke will meet young people who have been involved in the development of the new Youth Zone as they take part in a number of activities and workshops showcasing the facilities, before unveiling a plaque to mark the visit.
During his visit, The Duke will also join members of Barking and Dagenham (BAD) Youth Forum and Youth Zone members as they share their perspectives and experiences of knife crime, amidst a national rise in incidents, and go on to discuss potential solutions. The forum has already worked with councillors and police to voice their concerns about youth crime and violence in the area.
Barking and Dagenham Youth Zone, named by local young people as ‘Future’, will be open 7 days a week for those aged 8 to 19, and up to 25 for those with additional needs. The Youth Zone will offer sports, music and arts activities as well as access to qualified youth workers offering support and advice on issues affecting the community the most such as mental health and employability.
BAD Youth Forum was created in 2001, to give young people a formal and recognised platform to express their views on issues affecting their lives and communities, and a way to make a positive impact on their community. Today the forum, comprising of 13 to 19 year olds elected by peers in schools and youth groups, continues to have a say and influence on policy makers.
The Duke believes that every child should be given the opportunity to fulfil their potential, regardless of their background or situation, and regularly supports projects that enable children and young people to build their skills and confidence. This will be third time that His Royal Highness has visited an OnSide Youth Zone, having previously visited Wigan Youth Zone in July 2016 and the Hive Wirral Youth Zone in January 2019 with The Duchess.
This visit also furthers the ongoing work The Duke of Sussex is doing with The Royal Foundation to explore the solutions to youth violence that young people themselves wish to see.
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