Kingston young people to benefit from new youth services partnership

Young people in Kingston will soon be able to benefit from the expertise and local connections of two youth charities, as part of a new partnership.

Achieving for Children (AfC) has commissioned YMCA London South West (YMCA LSW) to manage the youth clubs in Dickerage Lane and Kingsnympton from 1 November. YMCA LSW will be sub-contracting management of Kingsnympton Youth Club to Kingston-based youth charity Oxygen.

The move is part of a wider transformation of youth services in Kingston, which will ensure that young people can continue to access a universal youth service in the borough, while freeing up AfC’s youth service to prioritise targeted support for the most vulnerable and at risk young people.  

YMCA LSW is already well established in the local area, through its partnership with MTV youth club in Hampton and the youth project at Surbiton New Life Church. Oxygen has been involved in delivering youth work on the Kingsnympton estate for over ten years. Oxygen works across the borough delivering a variety of projects including mentoring, after-school clubs, leadership training and tackling issues such as knife crime as well as managing Kingston Street Pastors.

Cllr Richard Hudson, Kingston Council's portfolio holder for children’s social care and health, said: 

“This is an exciting move for young people in Kingston. YMCA London South West and Oxygen are already well known in Kingston and bring with them a wealth of local knowledge and innovative ideas.

“This shows how the council and AfC remain committed to providing a strong universal youth service, despite the tough financial climate. It also shows our commitment to using the knowledge and expertise of the voluntary sector to deliver services in Kingston.”

Under the plans, young people will continue to work with their current youth workers, who have transferred into YMCA. Oxygen and YMCA are bringing a number of new ideas and approaches, including expanding volunteering support from the local community, and establishing youth forums to engage young people in decision-making about how budgets and resources will be used.