It was a busy week for OnSide in early June when HRH Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, showed his personal support for OnSide Youth Zones and their young people by attending OnSide’s Gala Dinner in the gardens of Kensington Palace.
The evening was hosted by the incredibly funny and warm David Walliams and the remarkable young people took to the stage to sing and tell their story to guests, which demonstrated the difference Youth Zones have made to their lives.
Following their performances and the subsequent standing ovations, the Duke of Sussex, gave a rousing speech about how he truly believes Youth Zones can change the lives and aspirations of young people across the country.
HRH, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex said “My visit to Wigan Youth Zone, part of the OnSide network, showed me how well we can do this, on a scale and level of ambition I have never seen before. We saw cooking, arts and crafts, boxing, climbing, and a whole range of sports, all engaging fun activities. Young people told me how much they value having a safe and fun space to go outside of school, where they can make new friends and get help with the things they want help with. What I loved most was how young people owned the Youth Zone, with its fully inclusive culture, empowering and enriching all who come into contact with it. I instantly understood why we need to work towards having OnSide Youth Zones right across the United Kingdom.”
OnSide Youth Zones are a charity partner of the Lord Mayor’s Appeal and the very next day, partners and young people got a first look at the Unitas development.
Barnet Youth Zone, named by young people as ‘Unitas’, will be a purpose-built facility for the borough’s young people aged 8 – 19, and up to 25 for those with disabilities. It will be London’s second OnSide Youth Zone and in part has been funded by money raised by The Lord Mayor’s Appeal.
Unitas chair Keith Black said: “This is a momentous day, seeing so many of our generous funders and supporters at the site for the first time to see how they’re making our collective dream for Barnet’s young people a reality.”