Berkshire Youth supports youth leaders and young people aged 10 to 18 through challenging life transitions/events to help them make the right choices, grow resilience and mature as individuals and members of society through:

  • Activities to encourage young people to adopt a healthy lifestyle and grow in confidence and self-esteem
  • Training for youth workers, volunteers and young people
  • Action through volunteering, encouraging young people to take positive action within their own community, involve others in shaping services for young people and to grow into the next generation of leaders
  • Club support for the many clubs for young people across Berkshire, including affiliating our members to Ambition and UK Youth

Waterside Centre Newbury Rooms for Hire

We are delighted to tell you that Waterside Centre Newbury has a wide range of rooms and spaces available to hire, all at very competitive prices. We can accommodate a variety or work meetings, parties, clubs, activities and more – including all of your catering needs. We will also do our very best to support any special requests or requirements you may have.Please find attached a link to our room hire information brochure, including prices, facilities and room capacities.

For further information, please pop into Waterside Centre or contact us:

E: waterside@berkshireyouth.co.uk

T: 01635 018500 

We are currently recruiting for the following roles:
  • Training and Volunteer Development Manager
  • Youth Worker – Bracknell
  • Youth Worker – Slough

To learn more about the roles and working with our terrific team, please visit our website.

Please contact us for an application pack:

E: admin@berkshireyouth.co.uk

T: 0118 909 0927

Closing date for completed applications: Monday 25 April, 5pm

Julie MacLean

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Berkshire Youth celebrates after receiving £400,000 in National Lottery funding for Waterside Centre, Newbury

Berkshire Youth – supporting young people across Berkshire

Berkshire Youth is celebrating after being awarded £400,000 in funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

Berkshire Youth will use their funding to support a wide range of activities for young people and the wider community at the recently-renovated Waterside Centre in the heart of Newbury.

This new National Lottery funding will enable Berkshire Youth to support local young people, particularly those who are vulnerable of disadvantaged. The money will be used to provide young people with the opportunity to take part in high quality leisure time activities which enhance their lives, helping them to grow and develop as individuals and members of the community.

 

National Lottery players raise over £30 million a week for good causes across the UK. The National Lottery Community Fund distributes a share of this to projects to support people and communities to prosper and thrive. 

Berkshire Youth CEO, David Seward, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, this grant means that we can offer more local young people the chance to take part in exciting, enriching activities, such as paddlesports, climbing and holiday clubs. This will make a big difference to their lives.”

During the pandemic, in 2020 alone, The National Lottery Community Fund distributed almost £1 billion to charities and community organisations across the UK.

To find out more visit www.TNLCommunityFund.org.uk  

Berkshire Youth announce changes to their Chair for 2022

Berkshire Youth – supporting young people across Berkshire

We have been privileged to have Jim Leftwich OBE on our Board of Trustees since 1982, and Chair since 1987.

Jim has reflected on his time with us, a time during which youth work has changed considerably, as has our charity: from name changes and incorporating girls, to a whole new generation of young people to support in very different circumstances.

Jim told us: “I moved to Berkshire in 1967 to join Gillette, but then career progression led to me working in London and the USA over the next decade. In 1982, Gillette appointed me as Reading Factory Manager and in the same year I joined the board of Berkshire Association of Boys Clubs (BABC). Five years later, in 1987, I became Chair of BABC, and one of the early tasks was to work with Vic Jerome to merge BABC and his Berkshire Youth Clubs organisation into Berkshire Association of Young People (BAYP), with Vic as the Deputy Chair.

“As Chair, I had an automatic place on the Council of the National Association of Boys Clubs (NABC) – with the then legendary pop idol Frankie Vaughan as President! – and one significant change at this time was the inclusion of girls into the club and title of the organisation – ‘Clubs for Young People’. Some very volatile meetings of Council took place before this change was achieved! I remember one member commenting: ‘I’ve been a member of Boys Clubs for 50 years and we’re not changing now.’ “

Jim’s career flourished, with a move to Sony Music before becoming Managing Director of the operations division of EMI in 1998 in London and then heading back to Reading in 1993 to become CEO of Linpac Metal Packaging. In 1997, Jim was honoured to receive the national Garrett Award from NABC – Clubs for Young People for ‘outstanding contribution to the work of the Association”. At this time, another major change took place in our local government structure, ending Berkshire County Council, which had been a very significant source of support. The Council was replaced by six unitary authorities, changing the funding base forever.

In 1999, David Seward took over as CEO. The previous CEO had been Ray Tapken, who retired after many years serving BABC, of which 12 had been spent so ably alongside Jim. Jim and David have since worked in partnership over the following 23 years.

Jim commented: “That’s much longer than any unbroken partnership I had in the commercial world and has proved to be a really rewarding one.”

In 2000, Jim retired from paid employment and concentrated on supporting various charitable organisations, including becoming Deputy Chairman of NABC – Clubs for Young People in 2001 and International Coordinator for Amani UK, a humanitarian charity supporting work in Kenya. Jim resigned from NABC in 2012 after failing to achieve a merge of NABC and UK Youth, which he’s always regarded as a major lost opportunity which left a greatly weakened national voice for the work with young people.

In 2013, Jim was honoured to receive the OBE from the Queen, principally for his work with Berkshire Youth and with Amani UK.

Through this time, we had progressed from BABC to Berkshire Associated Clubs for Young People (BACYP) and ultimately to Berkshire Youth, and become a charitable company. From 2010, the long period of austerity also began, along with the progressive erosion of government support both nationally and locally.

In 2017, Jim stepped down as Chair and assumed the role of Deputy, supporting Rev. Lady Denise Brown as Chair. However, when Denise resigned in 2019, Jim agreed to resume the Chair role, allowing Roger Smee our President and David to focus on the redevelopment of Waterside Centre, Newbury.

With Waterside Centre now reopened and thriving, Jim has decided that now is the right time to fully retire from Berkshire Youth and to focus more on his local community in Buckinghamshire, where he has now lived for 35 years.

Berkshire Youth Patron, HM Lord-Lieutenant of the Royal County of Berkshire, James Puxley, commented: “I would like to take this opportunity to give my sincere thanks to Jim for his outstanding commitment to our charity over the past 40 years. He has undoubtedly seen huge changes, but his dedication and positivity has never wavered. I wish Jim well as he has more time to spend with Edna, his wife of 60 years, two children and four grandchildren, and on his hobbies.

“I would like to reassure everyone that Berkshire Youth will continue seamlessly, with a strong Board of Trustees and dedicated staff team. I am thrilled to introduce you to our Chair Designate, Greg Wilkinson.”

Greg Wilkinson will officially become Berkshire Youth’s Chair later this year, after a handover period from the vastly-experienced Jim Leftwich OBE.

Greg has had a long career in Policing, including 11 years as a Chief Officer with West Yorkshire Police and three years as Director of Professional Development with National Police Training (when he was based at Bramshill in Hampshire).

On retiring from the Police in 2004, Greg ran an Executive Coaching business with his wife in Reading (including consultancy work for the Home Office). From 2004 – 2015, Greg was a Peer Assessor and Examiner with the Institute of Directors, and Selection Panel Chair with the Judicial Appointments Commission from 2008 to 2012.

Locally, Greg has undertaken various voluntary roles including:

  • Befriender with Duchess of Kent Hospice 2009 – 2011
  • Trustee of Reading Crossroads 2011 – 2016
  • Trustee and Operations Director – Rivertime Boat Trust 2016 – 2021
  • Chair of Trustees at Berkshire Vision (Berkshire County Blind Society) 2016 – 2022
  • Chair of Trustees at Accessible Boating Thames 2019 – present
  • Recently appointed Chair of Trustees CPRE (The Countryside Charity) Berkshire

 

Greg has been a member of Rotary International since 2007, where he has had numerous roles:

  • District Secretary for Thames Valley District 2009 – 2014
  • Assistant Governor (Reading area) 2014 – 2019
  • Past-President of the Rotary Club of Reading Matins
  • Currently a member of the Rotary Club of Reading Abbey
  • Led a Group Study Exchange to British Columbia, Canada 2010

 

Greg lives in Purley-on-Thames with his wife Sandra.

Greg commented: “I relish the opportunity to work with Berkshire Youth and hope to support the excellent work that the team undertake and to follow in Jim’s significant footsteps. My mantra in Rotary has been that ‘every child has potential but only some have the opportunity to develop it’. I hope that my experience and local connections will provide some added value to the great work that Berkshire Youth undertakes.”

Berkshire Youth President, Roger Smee MBE (who joined the Berkshire Youth board in 1981), commented: “I too am delighted to welcome Greg to the team. He brings with him a wealth of varied experiences, and will speak with authority on the preventative nature of youth work and links to crime. He joins Berkshire Youth at a transitional and exciting time, as we demonstrate what we can achieve when local government, charities and other stakeholders work with us to invest in local young people and their futures. This is most ably demonstrated by our work at our new Waterside Newbury premises.

“I too would like to add my deepest thanks to Jim for all that he has done to bring us to this point. He is a true gentleman who has been dedicated to youth work. He has been a much valued colleague and chairman of Berkshire Youth who will be missed by all of us who worked with him.”

Berkshire Youth CEO, David Seward, added: “I would like to add my heartfelt thanks to Jim for all he has done for our charity. He has worked tirelessly with me to be the very best we can be for local young people. I wish him all the best for his well-earned retirement. I would also like to extend a very warm welcome to Greg, who I have no doubt will be an excellent new Chair for Berkshire Youth.”

 

[Ends]

About Berkshire Youth
Berkshire Youth has been serving the young people of Berkshire, delivering excellent and efficient youth support services for 80 years. Berkshire Youth supports clubs and groups to provide safe environments in which young people can explore new ideas, activities and opportunities. We do this by building on local agendas, responding to the needs of young people and local communities, offering support to local partners and direct provision as appropriate. We are proud of our track record and committed to building on it over the coming years to support young people make successful transitions from childhood to young adulthood.
https://www.berkshireyouth.co.uk

Contact: David Seward, CEO Berkshire Youth, telephone: 0118 909 0926 or email: david.seward@berkshireyouth.co.uk

Berkshire Youth

 

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We’re absolutely delighted to have been awarded a Get Berkshire Active Physical Activity Heroes award this month! Did you hear Kelly speaking about this on BBC Radio Berkshire?

Waterside Centre was given this award in recognition of the work they have done with local young people hit hard by the pandemic, taking on board their views to deliver activities which fulfilled their physical and mental health needs.

Read more here.

Get Berkshire Active are holding an Inclusion Forum on Wednesday 16 March, 2 – 4pm. This is an opportunity for partners who support disabled people and those with long term-health conditions across Berkshire, to reconnect and look at ways we can collaborate, to support everyone in adopting a more active lifestyle.

Please book your places here. If you have any questions about this, please email them.

Hope Hack Event – How Can We Make a Fairer and Safer Society for All?

28 February 2022

We are delighted to be working with the Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), who are hosting the first in a series of national youth engagement workshops.

The event, to be held on Friday 4 March at the SCL Stadium (formerly known as the Madejski Stadium), will involve young people discussing and finding solutions for a fairer society and safer communities for all. We are expecting around 80 young people aged 16 to 19, from a range of backgrounds, to attend. They have been invited from schools, colleges and through youth work organisations from across the Thames Valley region.

The events are being coordinated by the Hope Collective, a grassroots organisation which was formed in partnership with the Damilola Taylor Trust. The VRU hopes to build upon this event, holding further later in the year elsewhere in the Thames Valley so as to provide the same platform to other young people.

If you want more information please email Sgt Russ Massie or Tim Wiseman in the VRU’s core programme team to discuss.

Reading FC Treat for our Young People!

“I can’t believe I’m on the actual pitch!”

We were absolutely delighted to be included in Reading Football Club‘s 150th birthday celebrations on Saturday.

Our wonderful Charity Ambassador, Reading player Tom Holmes, organised for us to have 50 tickets for this match, and young people we work with and from Pangbourne Youth FC – who have adopted us as their charity to fundraise for this year, loved taking part in the half time penalties in front of the huge crowd!

One young person’s parent said: “I just wanted to send your team a message of thanks. [My child] attended the game on Saturday and had a great time (especially getting on the pitch at half time and scoring some goals). The team that guided him through the day … were so good and ensured [my child] had a great time. Can you pass on my heartfelt appreciation and thank them for making such an enjoyable day.”

Another parent added: “Many thanks to you and the BY team on Saturday, the boys had a fantastic time.”

Read more about Reading FC’s 150th birthday celebrations here.

See our videos and photos here.

It really was an afternoon to remember!

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