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!

WEST Supports Children’s Mental Health Week

Here at WEST Youth Zone, ensuring the safety of young people and creating an environment where they can be supported and where they can express themselves is top priority. That’s why we support Children’s Mental Health Week

What is Children’s Mental Health Week? 

Children’s Mental Health Week, taking place on the 5th – 11th of February 2024, is an awareness campaign week created by children’s mental health charity, Place2Be. The charity provides vital services including counselling, mental health support and training in UK schools. They launched the week-long initiative in 2015 to empower, equip and give a voice to every child in the UK.  

This year’s theme is ‘My Voice Matters’ which is all about empowering children and young people by providing them with the tools they need to express themselves. Allowing children to have their voices heard can make a difference by making them have a greater sense of community and heightened self-esteem, something WEST Youth Zone wants to encourage year-round.  

Why WEST Youth Zone Supports Place2Be’s Awareness Week 

WEST is taking part in Place2Be’s Children’s Mental Health Week because we prioritise the wellbeing of young individuals. We have a commitment to create a safe and nurturing space for our members where they can openly express themselves and share experiences with Youth Workers and other young people. 

OnSide’s recent research report, Generation Isolation, found that 50% of young people reported high or very high feelings of anxiety and 46% of young people having anxiety around their future. 

By endorsing Children’s Mental Health Week, we aim to raise awareness and promote discussion around the topic of mental health of our youth. Alongside this, promoting that our Youth Zone is space where children can talk about their worries and therefore helping improve anxiety and general mental health. 

WEST’s Inclusion Coordinator, Harry Wills, says: 

“Kid’s voices matter because their opinions are valid and deserve respect. As my role as a youth worker, I want to facilitate them to express themselves, encouraging them to pursue their goals. At WEST, we want to provide familiar and welcoming spaces where young people feel comfortable and have approachable staff with friendly faces and open ears, therefore helping to ease any anxieties they may have” 

How to Get Involved 

Visit Place2Be’s website to find out more about the awareness week. You will be able to download resources there to share with your children, students, or friends. Together, we can help give a voice to all young people in the UK! 

Do you want to make a difference to children’s mental health in West London? Find out more about volunteering at WEST Youth Zone here: Get Involved – Volunteer. We also have vacancies here: Get Involved – Vacancies 

To support WEST in our first year of opening, you can donate here: Support Us 

WE NEED YOU! Volunteering Will Make a Huge Difference in West London

Are you eager to meet new people? Do you want to acquire new skills? Do you want to have some fun? Most importantly, do you want to make huge impact in the West London Community? Volunteer with WEST Youth Zone today!

WEST Youth Zone, based in Hammersmith & Fulham, is looking for committed and friendly volunteers to help deliver a world-class service to West London’s young people. Our volunteers will be from a range of backgrounds and possess varied skills. No experience is needed to make a difference in your local community.

We are recruiting volunteers in the following areas:

  • Youth Worker
  • Holiday Club Youth Worker
  • Football Coaching Volunteer
  • Arts & Crafts Volunteer
  • Climbing Coach Volunteer
  • Enterprise and Entrepreneur Volunteer
  • Kitchen Volunteer
  • Cooking Teacher Volunteer
  • Music Teacher Volunteer
  • Media Volunteer
  • Performing Arts Volunteer
  • Sports and Gym Coach/Trainer Volunteer
  • Health and Wellbeing Volunteer
  • Boxing Instructor Volunteer
  • and more!

One of the main reasons to volunteer with WEST is to be able to contribute to the vibrant community based in White City and help young people realise their potential. However, it’s not just about what you can do for others. Here’s what it can do for you:

  • Volunteering can give your CV a boost
    • According to Reed Employment, 73% of the UK’s leading businesses said they would employ someone who’s volunteered over someone who hasn’t.
  • You can meet new people
    • At a Youth Zone, you will meet people from different cultures and backgrounds that you may not normally be around. It is a great way the expand your cultural knowledge and meet like-minded people.
  • It can improve your confidence
    • Whilst is WEST, you will get the chance to do things you might not normally do – this can be a real confidence boost!

If you’re unsure whether volunteering is the right fit for you, join us for our Volunteer Drop-In Sessions held throughout January 2024. Come and explore the exciting opportunities that WEST has to offer and meet our friendly Youth Worker team.

Event Details:

  • Dates: Tuesday 23rd January and Friday 26th January 2024
  • Time: 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm – drop in at any time!
  • Location: WEST Youth Zone, South Africa Road, London, W12 7TF

On session, a free hot meal will be provided, and travel expenses can be reimbursed. Join us, and together, we can contribute to the vibrant community in West London!

Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Shineade Burton, Shineade.Burton@westyouthzone.org or visit our Volunteering Page if you have any questions.

Supporters visit WEST Youth Zone site

Supporters of WEST Youth Zone were welcomed onto the construction site for a sneak peek at progress being made.

Guests were given an update by WEST Chair Mark Davies and OnSide Deputy Chief Executive Rob Carter about the project and Hammersmith & Fulham Council Leader Steve Cowan also spoke about why he believes the Youth Zone will transform lives.

WEST (which stands for Where Everyone Sticks Together) was given its name by local young people.

Once open, the Youth Zone will offer a range of weekend and evening activities and opportunities with facilities including a four-court sports hall, arts and crafts area, climbing wall, music room, dance studio and much more, all for just £5 annual membership and 50p per visit.

Also on site were representatives from Ark, including chief executive, Lucy Heller, to see the progress being made on the wider EdCity scheme which the Youth Zone is a part of.

Mark Davies, Chair of WEST Youth Zone, said: “We were delighted to welcome our wonderful supporters to the site and to see the great progress being made. EdCity is such an exciting project and we are really proud to be a part of it. WEST will transform the lives of thousands of young people, giving them an opportunity to find new skills, make new friends and seek support from dedicated youth workers.”

The scheme is being delivered by EdCity Development Ltd (ECDL) and funded by Hammersmith & Fulham Council and Ark, a national education charity with nine schools in West London. 

The scheme will bring significant improvements to the neighbourhood and include: 

  • a new, modern building for a new Ark primary school bringing together Ark Swift Primary Academy and Ark Burlington Danes;  
  • 132 new affordable homes in an area of high housing need;  
  • a state-of-the art OnSide Youth Zone called West providing activities and opportunities for local young people; 
  • a new building for Harmony Nursery;  
  • an expanded adult education and community learning centre providing training and learning opportunities for local residents;  
  • a new 100,000sq ft office space for up to 1,000 jobs and a new permanent home for Ark and other organisations and businesses;  
  • a new landscaped public square with a pedestrian and cycle route, directly linking existing residential areas to the redeveloped White City business and transport hubs. 

Work to clear and prepare the White City site began in the summer last year and construction work is being carried out by Bowmer & Kirkland. The completion of the first phase, including the opening of the new school, is due in September 2023. 

Ark CEO, Lucy Heller, said: “It is exciting to mark this moment at the start of construction of the new school and other community facilities. Ark has been part of the White City community for many years, and this development will bring tangible benefits to all.” 

Hammersmith and Fulham Council Leader Cllr Stephen Cowan said: “This project will deliver, for people of all ages in White City, the very best in education and training – to give them access to the most amazing business start-up and rapidly emerging hotspot for STEM, medicine, and media enterprises. This project brings tangible benefits to the local community, with a new school and nursery, a Youth Zone and improved adult education services. There will be new, affordable homes for local people, improvements to public areas and jobs will be relocated here. That is why we made a multi-million-pound investment, and I am delighted the work here is now under way.”

EdCity is an exciting addition to the White City Innovation District and was recently recognised in Upstream’s Impact and Innovation 110 organisations, The prestigious list highlights science, technology, and creative businesses such as Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, BBC Studios, The Royal College of Art, and Novartis UK, all local to Hammersmith and Fulham who are making a positive impact in their field.