Youth Club Protest Planned Outside Ealing Cabinet Meeting

Campaigners want to save the Young Adults Centre in Southall

Youth Club Protest Planned Outside Ealing Cabinet Meeting
Young people from the area campaigning to save the centre


Council Urged Not To Demolish Southall Youth Centre

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A demonstration is to be held by campaigners seeking to save the Young Adults Centre (YAC) in Southall outside a forthcoming Ealing Council meeting.

They plan to assemble at 6pm outside of the Town Hall in advance of a meeting of the cabinet on Tuesday 19 October which will discuss the future of the centre. Ealing Council plans to demolish the youth club and redevelop the site for housing.

A committee of young people known as the Ealing Young Champions supported by the Young Ealing Foundation launched a petition to Ealing Council this summer to save the centre. It gained over 1,500 signatures and, as a result, the petition will be debated by the Council at its. To raise awareness of the debate, the Ealing Young Champions will be having a presence outside to show support for the campaign to Save the YAC and urge Councillors not to destroy it. Young people, Ealing supporters and other Funders such as John Lyon’s Charity will be making their presence known.

They argue that between 2019-2020 there were 1,808 new dwellings in Ealing and 1,590 of those were new builds. At the same time there are only three purpose-built youth clubs in the borough of Ealing, one of which is the YAC .

In the last 10 years, two youth centres have closed in Ealing, including one only a few streets away from the YAC. The neighbouring borough of Hillingdon has seven youth centres and Hounslow has five despite Ealing’s youth population of 108,400 being over 35% higher than Hounslow and nearly 60% higher than Hillingdon.

Kari, 19, Young Ealing Young Champion says, “To see the YAC torn down would be absolutely devastating. It is already limiting as it is in Ealing with the borough filled with flats and empty buildings in general. Now Ealing Council is debating whether to keep one of the few precious institutions we really need in the community. Why? How has it got to a point where we are forced to stand outside and protest a youth centre that is essential to young people within its community. If this happens, where will we go? The Young Ealing Champions will do all we can to protect the community even if Ealing Council won’t”

Elly Heaton, CEO of Young Ealing Foundation says, “In the area of Southall there are over 16,000 young people, many of whom rely on the Young Adults Centre (YAC) as their source of social interaction as well as it being a hub for extracurricular sport and clubs. If Ealing council close the YAC, a certain demographic of young people, living in an already disadvantaged area, will suffer more due to the lack of social interaction. And all for what? So that we can have more empty flats in Ealing.”

The Young Ealing Champions welcome anyone who believes that the Council should not knock down purpose-built youth centres to make way for housing to come and show support for the campaign.

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October 14, 2021

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