WHAT IS WARRINGTON YOUTH ZONE?
Warrington Youth Zone is new youth charity, building on the legacy of Warrington Youth Club. It will be a state-of-the-art facility open to all young people aged 7 to 19, and up to 25 for those with with additional needs. The Youth Zone will provide thousands of young people from across Warrington with somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to.
Located in the heart of the town, Warrington Youth Zone aims to engage and inspire young people to try positive new activities and raise their aspirations. The Youth Zone is based on the successful OnSide Youth Zones model and will open 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.
HOW DO I BECOME A MEMBER?
Annual membership will cost £5. Warrington Youth Zone will be open to young people aged 7-19, and up to 25 for those with additional needs. Once the Youth Zone is built, members will be able to register to become a member by filling out the membership form on our website. For updates on membership please follow us on social media. If the annual membership fee is a barrier, bursary places will be available to ensure that all young people are able to access the Youth Zone.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO ATTEND?
Annual membership for the Youth Zone will be £5, then members will pay 50p per visit which includes access to over 20 activities.
One critical factor in the success of the OnSide Youth Zone model is the voluntary relationship that exists between the Youth Zone and its members, i.e. the young people that attend do so because they choose to, and never because they have to. This is key to developing positive, healthy relationships between young people and the staff and volunteers – which enables the Youth Zone to deliver high quality, engaging youth work to those that need it most. It is also vital that the Youth Zone maintains its cover charge of 50p per session. Income from young people only amounts to around 10% of annual turnover but it is important as it creates a sense of value, ownership and equality.
WHAT FACILITIES DO WE HAVE?
Warrington Youth Zone is a purpose-built facility offering 20 activities every session, including sport, fitness, dance, arts, music, media and personal development. The Youth Zone includes a four-court sports hall with facilities for indoor badminton, football, netball and basketball and a separate indoor climbing wall. There is also a fitness suite with the latest gym equipment and an outdoor kick pitch. The centre includes a kitchen and café area where members can enjoy a hot meal for just £1, as well as dedicated areas for dance, music, film, and multi-media, arts and crafts, gaming and DJ-ing, martial arts and boxing.
HOW IS THE YOUTH ZONE BEING FUNDED?
Warrington Youth Zone is being delivered in partnership with OnSide Youth Zones and Warrington Borough Council, with support from local businesses and philanthropists.
Warrington Borough Council donated the land for the Youth Zone development as well as contributing towards the Youth Zone’s capital costs.
The annual running costs for the Youth Zone will be approximately £1.3 million. This includes for example; staffing costs, equipment, support of volunteers (including DBS checks), insurance, maintenance and utilities.
HOW DO WE KNOW THE YOUTH ZONE WILL BE SUSTAINABLE IN THE FUTURE?
The Youth Zone model is based on the successful OnSide Youth Zones model, where a combination of revenue streams, including private sector funding, ensures its sustainability and over time allows the income streams to grow and diversify steadily, increasing the Youth Zone offer.
At the time of opening, OnSide ensures that each Youth Zone has four years revenue funding in place. This allows the new charity time to establish itself as a key part of the local youth offer and demonstrate the huge value it can provide to the lives of many of the town’s young people. Over the first four years, the Youth Zone, supported by its private sector-led Board, will develop new income sources and partnerships to allow its income to grow, in the same way that all OnSide Youth Zones have grown.
WHO RUNS WARRINGTON YOUTH ZONE?
Warrington Youth Zone is a new charity, built on the success and legacy of Warrington Youth Club. Click here to find out about our history.
Like the Youth club, it will be governed by our local Board of Trustees. The Board is private sector-led and made up of local business people and representatives from Warrington Borough Council, who as volunteers will ensure the new charity delivers for the young people of Warrington.
As Chair, Mark Brocklehurst will lead the board of the Youth Zone. The day-to-day management of the Youth Zone will be the responsibility of a small team of paid staff, led by the Chief Executive.
The Youth Zone will create mixture of over 50 full and part-time local jobs and generate 100 volunteering opportunities within the community.
WILL YOUNG PEOPLE FROM ACROSS WARRINGTON MIX TOGETHER IN THE YOUTH ZONE?
One of the major strengths of a Youth Zone is the way young people from different areas and backgrounds are able to mix in a neutral space. Evidence from existing Youth Zones suggests that members will mix with their peers from different backgrounds, as well as with young people from a range of local areas from across the borough.
HOW WILL THE YOUTH ZONE PROVIDE SERVICES TO YOUNG PEOPLE WITH ADDITIONAL NEEDS?
All Youth Zones provide for young people with a range of additional needs up to the age of 25, through inclusive activities alongside the mainstream offer. Sessions are adapted for young people with additional needs and are open for a wide range of young people to access; including those with mild learning difficulties, through to those with more complex needs such as visual impairment and physical disabilities. Young people are given the opportunity to access a range of activities, including boxing, trampolining, karaoke, arts and crafts, cooking, gaming and much more.
WYZ will become the home of Warrington Youth Club’s well established befriending service for disabled children and young people, Buddy Up.
WILL THE YOUTH ZONE INCREASE ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR IN THE AREA?
We believe the vast majority of young people want safe inspiring spaces to call their own, where they can make new friends and have fun. It is not our experience that bringing young people together drives anti-social behaviour and the impact of other Youth Zones in their local areas has been extremely positive with statistics showing that the Youth Zones have actually contributed towards the decrease in anti-social behaviour.
Hear from PCSO Robert Smith, who patrols the Harpurhey area of Manchester, about his views of the impact Manchester Youth Zone has made on the reduction of ASB in the area: https://www.onsideyouthzones.org/youth-zoness-impact-on-asb-levels
Hear from parents, voluntary sector youth providers and councillors in this short video about why they think Youth Zones are so important to their local areas: https://www.onsideyouthzones.org/changing-perceptions-of-a-youth-zone