IBC has entered into a new partnership with OnSide Youth Zones, a charity that works to support young people in deprived areas across the country.
OnSide works tirelessly to give young people aged between 8 and 19 (25 for those with a disability) somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to in their leisure time, by building state-of-the-art, modern youth clubs offering a wide range of sport, art and enterprise activities.
The IBC Buying Group is part of the AllNeeds Group, which is a founding patron of Unitas – the Barnet Youth Zone that opened its doors in July 2019.
The Unitas site is located in Burnt Oak, London, an area within the bottom 20% of the ‘most deprived’ wards in England, according to a 2015 Index of Multiple Deprivation study by the Office for National Statistics.
The Youth Zone is open seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, giving young people a safe place where they can socialise and learn new skills in a safe, positive way. For a membership fee of just £5 a year, and a session price of 50p per visit, they can enjoy activities including climbing, art, music and media, photography, drama, dance, and sports. Every visitor can also enjoy a hot meal as part of the session price.
The Youth Zone has a full-size climbing wall, gym, football pitch and boxing ring for members to enjoy, as well as a fully-stocked kitchen so that young people can learn valuable new life skills.
Unitas also runs an Ambitions Programme – a six-week employability skills programme for members aged 16+, to support them in identifying and achieving their next career steps, whether that is work, training, further education, or an apprenticeship. As part of the programme they learn team and confidence building skills, take part in mock interviews and CV workshops, and can also visit local businesses to learn more about potential careers opportunities.
Unitas is one of 14 youth zones now open around the country, with OnSide’s ambition being to open even more youth clubs to help support thousands more young people.
As a Founder Patron, IBC will offer ongoing support to Unitas and the wider OnSide charity, and is urging IBC members to contact their local Youth Zone and how they could help support their vital work.
Kishor Harsiani, Strategy & Finance Director at IBC, said: “We are delighted to be a Founder Patron of Unitas and OnSide – they help around 40,000 young people every year and the work they do is vital.
“We got involved with Unitas because we wanted to do something for our local community, and what’s more important than helping young people to have a better start in life? We want to help make every Youth Zone a success, and support them in building more clubs in other areas where they’re needed. Unitas is a fantastic organisation that’s doing an amazing job – they’re creating something really positive for the future.”
For more information about OnSide Youth Zones, visit http://onsideyouthzones.org