Prince of Wales visits WEST Youth Zone

The Prince of Wales paid a special visit to WEST, the new OnSide Youth Zone in Hammersmith and Fulham, on Thursday 14 March.

The Prince enjoyed a tour of the new building, hosted by WEST’s CEO Elanor Gunn and Chair Mark Davies. He met with a number of young people, including members of the Youth Zone’s Young People’s Development Group – a group of volunteers aged between 12 and 18, who played a key role in the Youth Zone’s development. As well as being involved in different elements of the Youth Zone’s design, they also helped with staff interviews and developing the brand ‘WEST’, which stands for ‘Where Everyone Sticks Together’.

During the visit the Prince saw young people taking part in a number of the activities the Youth Zone will offer, including climbing, art and multimedia. The Prince was also invited to join in a game of basketball and help with some biscuit decorating before meeting some of the Youth Zone’s supporters. 

WEST will officially open on 21 April. It will offer a range of facilities including a gym, rooftop football pitch, music room with recording studio, boxing and martial arts room as well as enterprise and employability workshops – seven days a week to young people aged eight to 19 (or up to 25 for those with additional needs). It will also offer young people access to a team of dedicated, trained youth workers, providing vital support and a listening ear.

In line with the successful OnSide Youth Zone model, WEST is funded through a mixture of public and private sector contributions including businesses and philanthropic donations. The Youth Zone will work in strategic partnership with other local organisations to support young people in West London. It will be run as a local, independent charity and will be part of EdCity, which is being developed by the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and education charity Ark and will also include a new school, nursery, adult education centre and affordable housing.  

WEST Youth Zone has been developed by OnSide, a national youth charity that builds and supports state of the art youth centres called Youth Zones in some of the UK’s most economically disadvantaged areas. The Prince was able to hear more about the work happening across the OnSide Network, which includes 14 other open Youth Zones, with a further seven currently in development. Before leaving the Youth Zone, the Prince was joined by young people to unveil a plaque commemorating his visit.

WEST CEO Elanor Gunn said: “We were delighted to welcome His Royal Highness to WEST Youth Zone to show him our fantastic new building and introduce him to our incredible and passionate staff team and young people. We can’t wait to open our doors to thousands of young people from across West London – today marks the start of a really exciting story. We are so grateful to our supporters for making this a reality.”

OnSide CEO Jamie Masraff said: “We are incredibly proud of WEST Youth Zone, so it was fantastic to have the opportunity to showcase it. A huge thank you to the Prince of Wales for taking the time to come and see our amazing new Youth Zone, which will help transform the lives of thousands of West Londoners through the power of youth work.”

Photos: Radski Photo

The Prince of Wales will visit WEST Youth Zone

On Thursday 14th March, The Prince of Wales will visit WEST Youth Zone to see our brand-new purpose-built facilities that will soon be available to young people in West London.

WEST are excited to welcome His Royal Highness to mark the first time young people will have access to the Youth Zone.

Please view announcement from Kensington Palace below:

Learn Why WEST Youth Zone Loves International Women’s Day!

WEST Youth Zone supports International Women’s Day as it is our aim to make the youth zone accessible for all young people in the local community no matter how they identify.

What is International Women’s Day?

Today, 8th March 2024, marks this year’s International Women’s Day. The focal point of the movement is to support women’s rights and highlight issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and abuse towards women. 

This year’s theme is #InspireInclusion. International Women’s Day wants to imagine a world with gender equality; a world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. This day brings people together to collectively highlight these women focused topics and #InspireInclusion. 

Why does WEST Youth Zone support International Women’s Day?

WEST Youth Zone supports International Women’s Day as it is our aim to make the youth zone accessible for all young people in the local community no matter their gender, race, faith, identity, ability, and how they identify. We embody our name “WEST – Where Everybody Sticks Together”. Therefore, always enabling IWD’s focal point of gender equality. 

What will WEST offer to support girls inside the Youth Zone?

Once open, WEST will offer a “Just for Girls” session each Sunday. The weekly sessions will allow members that identify as female to have exclusivity of the building. The sessions will be led by what our young girls want to do. Here at WEST, we will listen to what activities are needed to create invaluable and rewarding girls only sessions. 

In Hammersmith and Fulham, there are a wide variety of races and faiths. According to the 2021 Censes, the West London postcode area have 40.8% of people identifying as non-white compared to 18.3% in the whole of England & Wales (see Plumplot). It is important our Youth Zone supports women no matter their race, faith, and wider identity to ensure belonging and inspire inclusion within the local community. 

No matter how you identify, WEST will provide young people with “Somewhere to go, Something to do, and Someone to talk to”.

Our Just for Girls sessions aim to enable female empowerment away from the potentially uncomfortable mixed gender club sessions. Some examples are: 

  • Just for Girls Gym Classes to improve strength and confidence.
  • The discussion of female topics in our Health and Wellbeing room such as women’s sexual health and social media pressures for girls.
  • Female self defence classes in our Boxing Gym.  
  • Arts and Crafts activities to enable creativity and release emotions.
  • A variety of sports lead by women Youth Workers such as Netball, Tennis, Football, and Hockey.
  • Just for Girl cooking sessions in our Teaching Kitchen to support Women’s Health. 
  • Girls only music sessions will embrace their race, faith, ability, and how they identify. 
  • and much more!

View our TikTok to take a look inside WEST

Sign Up Today!

If you are interested in being a member at WEST to access to our Just for Girls sessions, sign up today here: Become a Member!

Do you think you can add more to our Just for Girls sessions? You can volunteer at WEST Youth Zone by filling out this form: Become a Volunteer!