Berkshire Youth – Latest News

After a successful pilot across West Berkshire, and responding to best meet the needs of our local community, Berkshire Youth are delighted to announce the next evolution of the West Berkshire Youth Hub. Our award-winning hub has now been extended across the whole of Berkshire. We hope that the renamed ‘Berkshire Youth Hubs’ will prove just as popular and beneficial for those in the rest of the county.

The Berkshire Youth Hubs are a virtual and telephone based support platform with resources and opportunities designed around connecting, listening to and providing solutions for young people as they try to cope with the current lockdown and restrictions. With specific pages for young people, parents / carers and youth workers, users can visit the hub to find links to clubs, activities, careers, counselling services and more which are still available at this time.

Funding Partner: Greenham Trust

Supported By: Berkshire Community Foundation, Englefield Estate, Thatcham Town Council. Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport, Sovereign Housing Association, The Miss Lawrence Trust, The Good Exchange

Julie MacLean

Marketing Manager

Berkshire Youth


Update on The Waterside Centre

Friend of Paul Presents, Berkshire Youth’s CEO, David Seward, recently visited the Waterside Centre to see for himself the progress the team from Calco Construction ( have been making.

They report that:
– Main roof insulation and repair are in progress 
– Roof over the store is now complete, following additional works needed to sub structure due to rot and lack of maintenance
– Strip out of internal works now completed
– First fix of electricals in progress
– Windows ordered and new steel works for the viewing gallery commissioned  

David, like many others, is looking forward to the time when those in the Newbury area can start to use and benefit from this fantastic refurbished community and youth centre. The new centre will provide a range of positive activities and sports for local young people to get involved with, including rock climbing, dancing and canoeing. The facilities will include a 14.5 climbing tower, gym and dance studio.

Berkshire Youth still need to raise substantial funds to complete this exciting and ambitious project to turn the Waterside Centre into a state-of-the-art facility fit for the 21st century. If you are able to help, please visit their page on The Good Exchange ( – to donate and for further information. Greenham Trust ( are doubling every donation made via this page, up to a total of £100k.



Exciting news! Berkshire Youth are the proud new owners of The Waterside Centre and we are looking for support from the local community to bring this tired and sad building back to its former glory. We need help to refurbish the building to bring it up to the state-of-the-art facility that Newbury deserves. We are looking for help with all manner of areas, from demolition to fixtures and fittings, which are listed on our website:


Are you a local business or individual who can help us, or do you know someone who can? We shall of course suitably acknowledge every kind member of the local community who donates their time, expertise and resources to this exciting project.


The entire project will cost £1.3m and we need to raise an additional £700k to ensure that the project is completed. If you would like to donate to this project, please visit our Berkshire Youth Trust (link to this page: Go Fund Me page:


We hope that you will be able to help us turn this into a valued asset for the Newbury community, a beacon for cutting edge youth work in the UK. It will provide a youth club, activities and a safe space for local young people and a community building available for clubs and societies. Facilities will include a climbing wall, hall, dance studio and water based activities.


For further information or to offer support, please contact us by email at: or by telephone: 0118 909 0927.



Julie MacLean

Congratulations to Berkshire Youth, who have been awarded with “The Investors in People Award” Gold Accreditation. 

They are cautiously re-opening some summer holiday provision for young people at some of their centres.

The waterside Centre in Newbury have launched the new “Best Version of Me” with Derek Peaple and Phil Davies  and looking for new youth workers to recruit – so busy times!

This month we have been working hard through our dtacj=hed teams, using zoom for virtual youth clubs and exciting ways of maintaining contact.

We were absolutely thrilled to work with Funding Partner Greenham Trust to launch the West Berkshire Youth Hub in mid-May, to support young people through lockdown.

The West Berkshire Youth Hub is an online, telephone and text based support service which is staffed from 9am to 5pm, with access to out of hours support. Young people and their parents / carers are encouraged to get in touch, to be informed about local activities, such as local youth groups sports clubs, drama, art groups and activity sessions, including volunteering opportunities. They continue to be linked with appropriate, relevant and safe networks for the foreseeable future as restrictions are lifted. While this service doesn’t replace any other emergency service or out of hours team, where appropriate, young people are referred to one of Berkshire Youth’s professional and qualified youth workers as well as other specialist agencies for specific support, while any request of need identified for this level of intervention is referred or reported to appropriate safeguarding teams.


David Seward commented: “At times like this we need to remember to look after the most vulnerable, but in the meantime we must not forget the young people and children that are part of our community and families. The old saying that it takes a village to raise a child is so true, but we have removed the village and taken away that choice. We need to find ways to encourage young people to still get together (virtually), to get good safe advice and support, to have fun, laugh and joke. For too long the voice of young people has been unheard, so let’s share what resources we know about, and find support and kindness where we can. Our youth hub is not the solution for good quality face to face youth work, but is a collaboration of resources to get as close as we can.”


Hopefully you will have seen our social media posts about the project, read the report in Newbury Today and heard David talking on local radio about the project and our concerns for young people during this uncertain period.


One of the real joys of the hub has been sharing the good news of fantastic opportunities open to young people. One of these is the Newbury Corn Exchange project ‘Unlocked and Unbolted’, which will collect the thoughts and experiences of young people about the strange times we’re currently living through in order to write a piece to be performed in early September, following all social distancing guidelines. Another is the Ahead of Time Academy, featured on the Young People page of the West Berkshire Youth Hub. Created by 19-year-old Zack Fortag, the Ahead of Time Academy is a new youth charity which aims to help young people with education and opportunities. It offers courses, weekly webinars and blogs, as well as the chance to connect with future employers, fellow young people and numerous events.


We are pleased to report some of our successes – as these mean that the hub is meeting its intended purpose! We have had seven enquiries regarding volunteering (with four already on board doing great work), five young person referrals, over 170 young people engaged with by our youth workers whilst on detached work and over 1000 new visitors to the website.


It is not about statistics, however, as our Youth Worker, Colin, reports: “I am currently working with and assisting two young people who have been referred to us via the West Berkshire Youth Hub. I am working with students with… a lack of self-esteem, social and emotional issues and in more serious cases, mental health problems. The West Berkshire Youth Hub allows individuals to talk to / work with an independent non-biased youth worker where sessions allow open thinking and dialogue, setting targets and goals for that person to make informed choices, paving the way for successful outcomes.”

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