Press release: HRH The Earl of Wessex visits St Andrew’s Youth Club
06 December 2022
HRH The Earl of Wessex visits the world’s oldest youth club then hosts Buckingham Palace reception for charity London Youth after taking over patronage from his late father, Prince Philip.
On November 30th 2022 HRH The Earl of Wessex visited St Andrew’s Youth Club in Westminster, on the Club’s 156th birthday. St Andrew’s is the world’s oldest youth club and one of the founding organisations of the London Federation of Boys’ Clubs, now known as charity London Youth.
St Andrew’s Youth Club visit
London Youth was HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s first charity patronage, beginning in 1947 and handed to his son The Earl of Wessex in 2020 after nearly 74 years. During this time, The Duke visited St Andrew’s Youth Club twice, including a 1984 visit to open the Club’s current site. It is therefore hugely significant that his son, HRH The Earl of Wessex, a champion of youth causes and leading advocate of the role of non-formal education in young people’s personal development, has now returned to the Club.
While at St Andrew’s Club, The Earl of Wessex met and conversed with young people, took in display boards documenting the history of the Club, played table football, joined in with some cooking and spray-painting, and was shown round the music studio, gym and sports hall. This was The Earl’s first face-to-face event with London Youth since taking on the patronage.
Buckingham Palace reception
Later that evening, The Earl hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace, inviting London Youth’s funders, supporters, friends, and several young people on the charity’s youth board.
The reception was attended by Sir Kenneth Olisa, Lord Lieutenant of Greater London and President of London Youth. Also in attendance, among others, were Gemma Juma, CEO of the Jack Petchey Foundation, Catherine Anderson, executive director of the London Marathon Charitable Trust, Terry Birch, trustee of the Jimmy Dixon Trust, one of London Youth’s funders, Sir Thomas Crawley-Boevey Bt, Master of the Girdler’s Company, which supports one of London Youth’s outdoor residential centres Hindleap Warren, Kate Butchart, Director of Philanthropy for CVC, which has sponsored the Summer Grants scheme for over five years, Sophie Fernandes, Chair of the Portal Trust which funds London Youth’s Digital Talent Programme, Ian Lundberg, representing VISA, one of London Youth’s biggest corporate partners, Roger Jefcoate CBE, Julian Peak, on behalf of KFH, one of London Youth’s longest running corporate partnerships, and John Ratcliff CBE and Marsha Rae Ratcliff OBE, both longstanding vice presidents of London Youth.
“Young people and the wider youth sector are facing crisis after crisis, from mental health to the cost of living. In the face of this, the work of London Youth’s 600 member organisations is literally lifesaving. That’s why it’s so heart-warming and invaluably encouraging that our patron HRH The Earl of Wessex not only champions and supports our work so tirelessly, but also that he enables us through a day like today to thank members, young people, funders and supporters for all that they do.” Glen Fendley, Director of Fundraising and Partnerships, London Youth
“As a longstanding member of London Youth, St Andrew’s Club is thrilled to welcome HRH The Earl of Wessex for his first in-person youth club visit since becoming Patron –and on the day of our 156th birthday too! It is also moving that the Earl’s late father, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, visited us twice during his own time as Patron of London Youth and we value the continuity that the Earl’s appointment provides. Like London Youth, St Andrew’s Club is proud of its history –enriching young lives since 1866.” Annette Fettes, CEO, St Andrew’s Club