On Wednesday 29th June 2016, HRH the Duke of Edinburgh – who has been London Youth’s patron since 1947 visited two local Harrow youth organisations, Ignite Trust and Cedars Youth and Community Centre, marking visits to more than 50 youth clubs since his first in 1948!
At Ignite, young people were cooking a meal for everyone in the kitchen, playing sports in the hall, and hanging out in the lounge. Expression, the session which HRH Prince Philip attending during his visit, is a weekly group for young people aged 13-19 which aims encourage and inspire young people through sports, social time and life skills discussions.
“In an outer London borough like Harrow it’s easy to feel forgotten, under-financed and resourced. Ignite has enjoyed the support of London Youth for many years which helps us to feel more connected, whether opportunities for training and funding, or networking and information. We are delighted that our work has been recognised such that HRH Prince Philip is visiting us to see what we do, how and where. It’s a significant moment for all of us, staff, Trustees, volunteers and young people.” Daniel Haigh, CEO Ignite Trust. And at Cedars, a centre managed by Watford FC’s Community Sports & Education Trust, there were groups of young people playing football, badminton, planning a social action project to engage more girls in their club and a meeting of Harrow Youth Parliament.
Both these London Youth member clubs have achieved the Gold level of the London Youth Quality Mark – a sign of excellence in delivering quality youth work in their community. Ignite earnt theirs last year while Cedars were presented with their gold plaque, awarded earlier in July, by HRH Prince Philip during his tour of the club.
Rosemary Watt-Wyness, chief executive of London Youth commented:
“It is more important than ever that young people have access to services that can support them to gain the confidence resilience and networks that will help them succeed in life.”
One of the young people who has benefitted from attending her local youth club is Nima Roble (19), who also sits on London Youth’s youth advisory board, Dare London. Speaking at Wednesday’s event, Nima said:
“If it wasn’t for my youth club I wouldn’t have made the good friends that I’ve made or the tried new things and discovered what I enjoy. I wish I had known about my youth club sooner and would definitely encourage other young people to get involved with one near them.”
We continue to be extremely grateful to HRH Prince Philip for his longstanding patronage with London Youth and ongoing support over so many years.