Youth clubs and organisations across Westminster have re-opened their doors to young people this summer – to a very warm reception. Youth workers and practitioners have worked tirelessly to adapt services in response to social distancing measures; ensuring programmes remain covid-safe and young people have fun things to do, safe spaces to meet friends and access to support from trusted youth workers.
“It’s been great to get out and visit some of our members over the past few weeks, and especially great to see young people back in youth organisations and enjoying a huge variety of summer activities” said Phil Barron, CEO of Young Westminster Foundation.
From online basketball to cookery to kayaking in the Grand Union canal; summer opportunities have been available in person and online throughout the borough. YWF has worked closely with members and partners to to support innovative solutions to ensure as many young people as possible have been able to attend services. This has included partnering with Westminster City Council to close roads in both the north and south of the borough on occasional days, allowing St Andrew’s Youth Club and Avenues Youth Project to run sessions in the open air in the community. The buzz and local support for the initiative demonstrated the real positivity to work differently and collaboratively this summer.
Westminster’s Youth Hubs and young people have benefitted from support and investment from the Kitchen Social programme, from the Mayor’s Fund for London. The local partnership ensured young people were fed during summer programmes, with access to food and social activities during the holidays.
The summer programmes have been a great learning opportunity for YWF Members to test new ways of working ahead of the Autumn term. The insight will inform how programmes can operate safely and effectively over the months ahead.
The summer programme offer for young people in Westminster has been no mean feat, with multiple challenges around guidance, funding and capacity. It’s testament to the dedication from YWF Members to provide brighter futures for local young people that they have been such a success.