Frequently Asked Questions
What facilities will it have?
Unitas will offer young people a purpose built facility offering a wide range of activities, including dance, sport, music, media, employability and mentoring.
The Youth Zone will include a four-court sports hall with facilities for indoor tennis, badminton, football, netball and basketball and a separate climbing wall. There will also be a fitness suite with the latest gym equipment and an outdoor multi-use games area.
The centre will also have a kitchen and café area selling healthy food and drink, multi-purpose areas for dance, music, arts and crafts, gaming and DJ-ing, martial arts and boxing facilities.
When will it open?
The plan is for Unitas to open its doors for the first time in 2018.
Will the Youth Zone provide services to people with an additional needs?
All existing Youth Zones provide and cater for young people with a range of additional needs up to the age of 25 through inclusive ability sessions alongside the mainstream offer. The sessions are adapted for young people with additional needs. These sessions are open for a wide range of young people to access; including young people with a variety of different needs from mild learning difficulties to more complex needs such as visual impairment and physical disabilities. Young people are given the opportunity to access a range of activities for example boxing, trampolining, karaoke, arts and crafts, cooking, gaming and much more.
How much will it cost?
Annual membership for the Youth Zone will be £5, with each visit costing young people just 50p.
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.
How is it being funded?
The Youth Zone project cost is estimated at £6million. Barnet Council has agreed to an investment of £4.2m towards the Youth Zone development. OnSide has committed to securing a further £1.8million, which will be combined with the Local Authorities’ funding to cover the construction costs of the building. OnSide will raise these funds via its network of private sector supporters and charitable trusts and grants.
Will the Youth Zone reduce anti-social behaviour?
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.
For example, local police in Wigan recently reported that they have seen a 77% reduction in ASB from 2013-14 since the Youth Zone has been open.
Likewise in summer 2012, Tim Forber, the Chief Superintendent Divisional Commander for Oldham, reported that the opening of the Youth Zone in Oldham (Mahdlo) had impacted on the quarterly year-on-year statistics for the borough where anti-social behaviour involving young people had dropped by 30% and young people being victims of street crime had dropped by 40%.
Blackburn Town Centre Sergeant, Nick Everett, has also reported that anti-social behaviour has markedly decreased in and around the town centre as a result of the Youth Zone and partnership working around individual young people known to them. He also commended the impact of our outreach programme on engaging young people who spend their time on the streets of the town centre.