Phil’s blog: The turn of the decade

As we begin a new decade and look forward to the roaring twenties, it’s a good time to take stock.

Young Westminster Foundation was established in 2016 as part of John Lyon’s Foundation’s Young People’s Foundation model.

It’s been a hectic but fun few years with a rapid evolution for our start-up charity. From a starting point of 3 trustees we now have a full board of 9 trustees, 5 members of staff, a membership of 85 voluntary sector organisations as well as over 40 business partners.

2019 was a year of consolidation for YWF; getting settled into our new cosy home in Chinatown, setting up ways of working and establishing a clear business plan with the Board looking forward. Our highlights last year included:

  • Forever Young – our exhibition on Carnaby Street showcasing 150 years of youth clubs in Westminster with over 1000 visitors and 4 events over 14 days
  • Young Ambassador Programme – a dynamic group of 16 young people completed training and participated in research and consultations including a fascinating insight into the changing face of the West End with the New West End Company
  • Grants Programme – we awarded 68 grants equalling £439 000 supported with funding from Westminster City Council, 14 corporate partners, London Sport & St Giles

In 2020 we are looking to move the Young Westminster Foundation forward and we are on track to exceed our target of leveraging £1m per year for the Westminster youth sector by March 2021.

We will be concentrating on gaining further insight to inform our strategic partnerships and create the best opportunities for young people.


Our work is driven by insight and research into real needs of young people as well as our wider partners.

We are embarking on our second needs analysis in partnership with King’s College London. A detailed piece of research and review of the needs and issues faced by young people in Westminster building on our report A City Within a City.

The research will enhance our…

Strategic partnerships

Through consultation and collaboration with existing partners including our founding partners, business improvement districts, Westminster City Council and the Metropolitan Police.

It’s important for us to listen to the drivers of business partners and priorities for attracting young people for example a diverse talented local pipeline, employee volunteering as well as consulting on products. Our Mastering My Future employability programme offers the perfect opportunity for businesses to collaborate.

We are keen to reach out to new sectors, for example IT, tech and media – sectors that young people tell us they are interested in. Our art auction in partnership with Total Media in February offers an exciting opportunity to meet new partners.

Our partners allow us to create…

Opportunities for young people

Through our research and strategic partnerships we can continue to collaborate with our youth clubs and other member organisations to create quality opportunities for young people. Funding is required to enable the sustainability of youth programmes!

At the end of 2019 we closed our Brighter Futures Fund, where YWF brought together funding from corporate partners, Westminster City Council and St Giles to award 19 grants.

In 2020 we will continue to seek contributions to grow this pot and provide a sustainable legacy for the sector and young people in Westminster.

If you are not involved already then please get in touch! Either by email or phone 07426 217044


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