On Tuesday 26th May 2015, HRH the Duke of Edinburgh – who has been our patron since 1947! – came to visit two of our member clubs in Camden, Queens Crescent Community Association (QCCA) and Wac Arts. During his visit, Prince Philip got to see the impact that high quality youth work can have, as well as showcase the value of sports as a tool for young people’s development.
At QCCA, young people were playing football, cricket and gymnastics; whilst at WacArts there were groups of young people involved in fencing and stage combat, aerial,Boccia and much more! Both these London Youth member clubs are part of our Getting Ready sports development programme, giving all young Londoners a lifelong love of sport.
Rosie Ferguson, Chief Executive of London Youth commented:
“Sport is a brilliant way of engaging young people, helping them feel healthy, active and learn new skills. Our model takes sport to youth clubs and organisations like WAC – places where young people choose to go – where trusted adults work with them and offer them a choice of sport and the opportunity to lead and learn.”
Getting Ready has enabled young Londoners, whatever their background, interests or natural ability, to come together and play sport in their local youth club. Working in over 100 community-based organisations across London, including QCCA and WacArts, our team has worked directly with over 11,000 young people. Of these, 40% had not previously taken part in any sport outside of school. 70% of the young people we surveyed last year reported an average of 18% positive change across core social and emotional capabilities of confidence, resilience and relationship skills – so they felt better about themselves and more prepared generally to meet life’s challenges.
Rosie Ferguson added:
“We know that young people can benefit from our programme. And we can see the impact that doing sport in a youth club or community setting can have. So we want even more young people to enjoy these opportunities.”
One of the young people who has benefitted from youth club-based sport is ZakOsman, who is a club member of Wac Arts and also sits on our youth board, Dare London. Speaking at Tuesday’s event, Zak said:
“I first started going once a week to Wac Arts for general youth activities like music, drama and art with the disability group. Last year I got the chance to get involved in some more sports activities and did my Disability Sports coaching where I specialisedin Table Cricket.
It has been six years now and I have tried so many different things. But one of the main reasons why I keep coming back is because everyone at Wac Arts makes me feel so welcome. Thank you to London Youth and Wac Arts for supporting me.”
Our patron’s visit was a huge success and all the young people and staff at each club had a great evening.
We were delighted that HRH the Duke of Edinburgh took the time to visit London Youth and show his support for our work with young people across London. We hope that many of our supporters and partner organisations can continue to help us make quality sport opportunities available for all young Londoners, regardless of background or ability.
We continue to be extremely grateful to Prince Philip for his longstanding patronage with London Youth and ongoing support over the years.
Photography: Nathan Greenwood