Unitas Youth Zone Story
Unitas Youth Zone will be built upon a model which has proven to change the lives of young people across the country for the last decade.
In 2006, entrepreneur Bill Holroyd was approached by Bolton Lads and Girls Club to be the chair of its board. It was upon taking this role that he realised how much other towns and cities could benefit from such world class facilities.
Such was his inspiration, he set up the OnSide Youth Zones charity and developed the Youth Zone model to spread across the country.
The aim is a simple one; to build a network of 21st Century Youth Clubs which give young people, safe and inspiring places to go in their leisure time. They will give them somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to.
Following on from Bolton Lads and Girls Club, Onside has gone on to open seven more across its ever-growing network.
Carlisle was the first Youth Zone to throw open its doors for young people in July 2011, offering state-of-the-art facilities for the town’s young people.
2012 saw a flurry of Youth Zones opening across the North West with Manchester (The Factory) in February closely followed by Oldham (Mahdlo) in March and Blackburn in June. As young people across the region began to benefit from the amazing facilities and activities on offer, another was already under construction in Wigan.
Thousands of young people signed up to be members ahead of its opening in June 2013 and such was its immediate impression on the borough, then Prime Minister David Cameron paid a visit two months later.
The most recent addition to the OnSide network was Wolverhampton (The Way) which opened in January 2016.
But OnSide’s work isn’t even close to being completed. While other Youth Zones in Chorley, Wirral and Preston are planned to open in the next couple of years; the charity is also moving to the capital!
The first London Youth Zone to open will be in Barking and Dagenham (Future) in 2018 and we won’t be far behind them!
The young people of Barnet have had their say, deciding the Youth Zone will be called Unitas and they’re already visiting other clubs across the network to get a taste of what will be on offer.