The Prince Of Wales Visits West Youth Zone

Mar 2024

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 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 our successful 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.

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.”