Teenagers Save Local Youth Centre from Closure

Ealing Young Champions' campaign proves to be successful

Protesters outside the Town Hall
Protesters outside the Town Hall. Picture: Young Ealing Foundation


Council Accused of Being 'Tone Deaf' on Youth Centre Demolition

Youth Club Protest Planned Outside Ealing Cabinet Meeting

Council Urged Not To Demolish Southall Youth Centre

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A campaign by a group of young people from the borough of Ealing has succeeded in saving a youth centre in Southall from closure.

The Young Adults Centre (YAC) in Southall is one of only three youth clubs in the Borough of Ealing and, up until recently had been earmarked by Ealing Council for demolition to make way for housing.

A group of local teenagers, known as the Ealing Young Champions, campaigned tirelessly against the decision until it was reversed.

The Ealing Young Champions, supported by the Young Ealing Foundation, launched its campaign in Spring 2021 to #SaveTheYAC and petitioned Ealing Council to save the Young Adults Centre from demolition in the summer of that year.

A petition gained over 1,500 signatures and, as a result, was presented by 17-year-old Ealing Young Champion Lily to the council who debated the matter at a cabinet meeting last October.

The council has now announced that the Young Adults Centre will not be demolished and cited young people as a reason for this change of heart.

Ealing Young Champion Lily presents the petition. Picture: Young Ealing Foundation

Ealing Young Champion Lily Connolly-Wards, now 18, said, “After all of our hard work, I am overjoyed at the decision of the council to keep the YAC open. It is clear that the centre is needed in the community, and I’m glad the young people of Southall get to keep this pillar in the local area."

Kari protests against the closure of the centre
Kari protests against the closure of the centre

Elly Heaton, CEO of Young Ealing Foundation added, “We are absolutely delighted that Ealing Council have listened to the Ealing Young Champions and have made the decision to keep the Young Adults Centre open for future generations. We are looking forward to working with them going forward to ensure that the Young Adults Centre continues to thrive as a community hub, provide a safe space for young people, and is an asset the community can continue to utilise for the long-term future.”

Dr. Lynne Guyton, CEO of John Lyon’s Charity says, “For the past 18 months we have been campaigning to save the YAC as a key youth club for the children and young people of Ealing. Having reached out to Ealing Council to help them understand what a critical resource and part of the social fabric the Club is, I am delighted that the Council has decided to keep the YAC open and fully supported.

“More than ever before, in the wake of COVID and in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis, youth clubs such as the YAC are a guiding light for many young people bringing together different communities, providing sports activities, clubs and a safe space for those at risk of violence and crime. “

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October 5, 2022

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