Building is now complete on Barnet’s state-of-the-art OnSide Youth Zone, ‘Unitas’.
Offering young people aged 8-19 (and up to 25 for those with disabilities) somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to, the incredible £6.5million centre will boast an array of world class facilities with at least 20 different activities on offer each evening.
From sports in the four-court Sports Hall, Fitness Suite, Boxing room and on the rooftop 3G pitch to music, arts, employability and enterprise workshops, a giant climbing wall, a mentoring kitchen, hot meals for £1 and much more, young people will pay just £5 per year to be a member and 50p each time they visit.
The Youth Zone has been developed by the national charity OnSide Youth Zones, which has worked with Barnet Council as strategic partners.
As well as donating the land, the Council has also contributed £4.2million towards the construction costs. The remainder has come from the Benson Black Charitable Trust, the Rubin Foundation Charitable Trust, the Linbury Trust, Bernard Sunley Foundation, the Gerald and Gail Ronson Family Foundation and the Seroussi Foundation, via UBS Optimus Foundation and Vistra Jersey.
The annual £1.4million running costs will be funded by a range of trusts, grants, private sector and philanthropic contributions.
Over the last few months, Unitas has been recruiting its fantastic staff team, creating 50 jobs, including a mixture of part and full time roles, as well as over 100 volunteering opportunities.
The team has now moved into its new home in Montrose Playing Fields and is now busy preparing to welcome thousands of young people.
A grand opening is now less than a month away on Sunday 23rd June between 11am and 2pm when the whole Barnet community is invited to the Youth Zone for a huge celebration.
Ahead of that, a number of local schools and partner organisations will be invited to check out the facilities.
There will also be days for the wider community to get a sneak peek themselves. On 2nd June, between 11am and 3pm, the Youth Zone will host an open day for young people with disabilities to come in, meet the staff and check out the fully inclusive offer that will be made available.
The following week on 8th June, an open day will be held for the whole Barnet community between 11am and 3pm with a full range of activities on offer for young people to get a taste of what’s to come and for adults to see what is on offer.
However, following the official opening on 23rd June, the doors will only open for young people – so parents, make the most of this chance to come inside!
Unitas Youth Zone CEO Tony Lewis said: “We are incredibly excited to move into our amazing home. This is a fantastic milestone for us but it’s also just the start!
“We have recruited a brilliant staff team that is already planning to deliver the most incredible offer for Barnet’s young people. We are also really looking forward to our open days on 1st June and 8th June which will give the whole community a chance to take a look inside!
“Everyone at Unitas is so grateful to our incredible funders who have helped turn the dream of a Youth Zone in Barnet into a reality.”