Phil Barron, Chief Executive of the Young Westminster Foundation chats to Heart of London Business Alliance about the organisation’s role in supporting children and young people in Westminster through employment.
“The Young Westminster Foundation is a member organisation for any not-for-profit organisation working with children or young people, including youth clubs, children’s charities, sports organisations and employability agencies” explains Barron. Having received funding from Westminster City Council and the grant-giving John Lyon’s Charity, the YWF is a “wider network of young people’s foundations that have been sponsored by John Lyon’s Charity.”
“The drive to set up the foundation”, continues Barron, “has been the gap in public sector funding for young people and children’s services in London. We’ve seen over the last few years a fragmentation of services and a gap in activities and opportunities for young people outside of formal education.”
Young Westminster Foundation will be hosting a roundtable with Heart of London members on Wednesday 25 April. We asked Phil why businesses should attend and consider getting involved.
“Within Westminster we see the extremes of rich and poor” explains Barron. “We’re sitting here in one of the richest parts of the country yet within Westminster we have six wards appearing in the 10% most deprived in the UK. In terms of social responsibility the onus is on businesses to look beyond the borders of where they are operating to demonstrate they are committed to the wider local community.”
The YWF is working closely with Westminster City Council and local schools to increase the number of young people in Westminster moving onto apprenticeships. We ask Phil how Heart of London’s members can get involved.
“I’d encourage members to attend our roundtable to engage in discussions on apprenticeships. We want to have dialogues to understand how we can achieve the social aims of the foundation but also help businesses in a long term mutually beneficial relationship” responds Barron. “With some businesses facing recruitment issues it’s about offering employment opportunities to young people living locally whilst increasing diversity” he concludes.
To close each Spotlight Feature we ask our guests to share their ‘best kept secret’ in the heart of London’s West End to inspire us to discover and rediscover some of the city’s finest bars, restaurants and retailers right on our doorstep. “I love going to the theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue and for a drink it would be the Coach and Horses on Greek Street” shares Barron. “Piccadilly and Leicester Square will always remain gems which keep evolving for the better by getting brighter and louder. We’re lucky in the Young Westminster Foundation to be based in the most exciting parts of the UK.”
Phil Barron is the Chief Executive of the Young Westminster Foundation.
Read more about the Young Westminster Foundation here: http://www.ywfoundation.com/
Heart of London will be co-hosting a roundtable with the Young Westminster Foundation and their Chief Executive, Phil Barron on Wednesday 25 April to discuss how the foundation is working with grassroots organisations across Westminster, getting young people engaged in the community and providing paths into employment through partnerships with local businesses. The roundtable will deliberate over a published Needs Analysis (“A City within a City”) report by the foundation and understand how through their grants scheme and apprenticeship focus, local businesses can form mutually beneficial relationships with the foundation and youth of our borough.