New Youth Group For 11-19 Olds

Providing safe place in Chiswick to relax, have fun, and develop

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W4 Youth is a newly formed youth group for 11-19 year olds in the W4 area providing a safe place for our young people to relax, have fun, and develop.

In January 2009 a Chiswick boy was shot in the face as he and his friends were walking to football practice in Chiswick. The pellet went through his cheek and lodged close to his temple. He’s made a full physical recovery, but the mental scars will take longer to heal.

Whilst this was an extreme incident, he and several of his friends have been mugged and assaulted in W4 during the day.

Sally Chacatté told, “Everyone ‘knows’ that Chiswick is a “good” area. Houses are expensive, the Boat Race brings crowds and TV cameras, and celebrities walk down the High Road every day. But that’s only one side of Chiswick. There’s very little for young people to do in the area: councils don't appear to be able to give funding for youth projects in places where people are ‘well off’. So if we want a youth project, we need to take the lead ourselves.

“A group of us - local parents and others sympathetic to this agenda - decided to set up a Youth Project for W4. Our vision is to have our own building, with a dedicated manager, to be open from 4-10pm, 6 days per week - Monday to Saturday - with sport on Sunday in an off-site location. The building will have a chill zone, a structured programme of regular sessions and occasional one-off events and projects. We are working in partnership with a local youth football club, and we already have a number of volunteers to run sessions of dance, drama, boxing, netball, football with the young people.

“For the past 6 months we have been working on the production of a DVD from a photography and film project that Ealing Council has sponsored. This will be available by the end of May/June. As part of our regular meetings at a local church hall, we are also working with the core group of 20 of the young people who have come up with the name for the group, to create a logo, to design and build a website (helped by another volunteer who will be pulling this together for us), and to create the rules of the club, the membership criteria and the application forms.

“We’re currently operating out of our local church hall and other “borrowed buildings”, although we’ve found the perfect “home” and are working towards raising the money to fund this, together with the many things we need to run the various activities.

“By raising the awareness in the Community of the issues young people face and gathering more support from different parts of the community for our project I am sure we will achieve our goals more speedily.”

May 31, 2010