On Wednesday 8 July from 7pm-9pm, YMCA London South West opens the doors to ROOM Exposed, a cultural event showcasing the youth work, music, arts and sports activities taking place at the YMCA John Innes Youth Centre in Wimbledon.
At this free event, the public will get a real feel for what goes on at YMCA John Innes Youth Centre. Visitors will be invited to try the instruments, visit the recording studio and talk to staff, volunteers and the young people at the centre about the activities they have taken part in over the last year.
There will be live musical entertainment by young performers, followed by a dance performance by the YMCA LSW Dance Company consisting of dancers aged 11-17.
The highlight of the evening, however, will be the celebration of the Jack Petchey Achievement Award which is given out to young people who have shown remarkable dedication or achievements at the youth centre.
Youth work under pressure by government cuts
Anna Harris, Head of Youth Work at YMCA LSW, said: “Youth Work is increasingly important in today’s financial climate as youth centres are threatened with being closed down due to cuts in government funding.
We believe that all young people should have the opportunity to reach their potential irrespective of their background. The work we do here at John Innes provides that opportunity for young people in our local community”.
A place to meet friends and learn new skills
One of last year’s Jack Petchey Achievement Award winners, Sam Baker (17), is one of the regulars at Arts Room, the youth project taking place at the centre every Monday evening, focusing on creativity and arts. He said:
“Here I get the chance to meet and socialise with people I have never met before. I get to explore new projects and to take part in a wide range of activities. To me, Arts Room is a place where I can come to get away from the stress of my home life for a little while, and to relax and chill out, chat with my friends and have a nice time”.
Music, sports and arts
Paul Rook, Youth Worker at YMCA London South West, said:
“Youth work encourages young people to learn new skills and enables them to share life’s experiences with staff, volunteers and other young people in a safe and open environment.
At YMCA John Innes Youth Centre, we get the pleasure of seeing many different young people attend our projects. Some love to sing and perform or record music, whilst some like to do sports or play pool. Some like to relax and chat whilst others prefer to cook and get creative with different workshops.
As a Christian charity, our clubs have impacted many young people over the years: one student went to university to study music because she attended Music Room. Another is doing work experience with YMCA LSW’s after school clubs following talks with the staff at YMCA John Innes”.
YMCA John Innes Youth Centre is located at 61 Kingston Road, Wimbledon, SW19 IJN, London, within walking distance of Wimbledon train Station, South Wimbledon tube station and buses 57 and 131.