Roots of Our Community – Phil Barron

As part of our 5th Birthday celebration, Phil Barron, former CEO of Young Westminster Foundation is sharing his journey and experience in the Westminster Community.

What is your favourite thing about the borough of Westminster?

The rich diversity of people, places, buildings, cultures, sounds, smells and food!

What are some of your own experiences as a young person?

I grew up in the countryside in Cumbria and had lots of space to run wild! I have vivid memories of playing outside and climbing trees for hours. I attended cubs and participated in Duke of Edinburgh Award (getting my silver award) and went to Badminton Club. The most important influences on me were my sisters and friends. My grandma influenced me to develop a love of books and become an avid reader!

What has been your journey to the Young Westminster community?

My journey has included 20 years working in community development roles. This has included hands-on roles including undertaking outreach work, supporting young refugees to get into employment, and working as an English Language teacher in Leeds and in the Czech Republic. Starting in the role of the first CEO and first employee of YWF in 2017 was scary but exciting. This has been a wonderful opportunity to bring together my skills and have an impact on the lives of young people in Westminster.

What impact has Young Westminster Foundation had over the past five years?

I am always impressed by the wide diversity of organisations and projects located in Westminster to support young people. Over the last five years I have seen a previously fragmented sector come together to form stronger partnerships and benefit from much needed funding to sustain and grow their work. One highlight for me was the Digital Futures Project during the pandemic where we were able to secure and distribute nearly 2,000 laptops for young people.

What do you hope for Westminster’s young people over the next five years?

I hope that there is greater equity and fairness across all areas of Westminster for all young people to benefit from the opportunities available in the City.

Why are youth services important to you?

Youth services provide safe spaces outside of school and home where young people can form trusted relationships, have fun, learn and grow.


Find out more about the Roots of Our Community:

Stanley Abdesselam

Brian Bickell

Zoya Soni

Madhu Chauhan



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