A recent Awards night at the Royal Albert Hall celebrated the young people who are part of the OnSide Network – an amazing national charity supported by patrons including IBC Buying Group and the AllNeeds Group.
The OnSide Youth Zones Network has a dynamic vision to give all young people somewhere safe and inspiring to go to in their leisure time. A network of 15 Youth Zones across the country – from Bolton to Barking and Dagenham – offer young people in those areas a purpose-built facility where they can safely explore their hobbies and interests, all while developing vital life skills that will help them in their future careers.
The Barking and Dagenham Youth Zone, for example, has a fully-equipped gym, climbing wall and football pitch where young people can exercise and keep fit while learning the value of teamwork, as well as arts and crafts facilities and a full-size kitchen where they can learn cooking skills. Other areas on-site include a dance studio, wellbeing room, and film and multimedia studio – all of which are available to young people from the ages of 8 to 19.
The Youth Zones also offer emotional and mental health support to young people, giving them somewhere that, for many in deprived areas, may be the only safe space they have access to.
With many young people across the country learning amazing new skills at their local OnSide Youth Zones, the first ever OnSide Awards brought the community together to celebrate their talent and momentous achievements.
The event gave talented young people from across the country the chance to perform alongside world-renowned artists including The Script and John Newman, with an audience of thousands present to see awards presented to those who have made a real difference in their community, have breakthrough talent, or have overcome the most challenging of circumstances.
Kishor Harsiani, Strategy & Finance Director of IBC Buying Group, explained why supporting the charity as a Founder Patron is so important to him, and to all at IBC, saying: “Young people are the next generation and yet so many of them in deprived and rundown areas have a difficult start in life. We have been blown away by the amazing work carried out by our local Youth Zone – they’re an inspirational group of people and we want to do everything we can to help them create a positive future for young people.
Taking young people off the street and provision of safe environments is something I grew up with and knife crime was virtually non-existent. We need to bring back community initiatives and invest in our local areas with real support to make our neighbourhoods safer and fun for everyone.”
Harsiani plans to invest more time with the team at the local OnSide Youth Zone, and to encourage members to learn more about the charity’s work and how they could help thousands of young people in their local community.
For more information on IBC and how to become an IBC Buying Group member, visit www.ibcbuyinggroup.com.