Youth centre campaigners’ open letter in response to council leader’s article


The Save Our Wanstead Youth Centre campaign has issued an open letter in response to the Leader of Redbridge Council’s article in last month’s issue of the Wanstead Village Directory, in which it was announced the future of Wanstead Youth Centre will be decided at a council meeting in September

Jas Athwal, the Leader of the Council, has confirmed in the article that the future of Wanstead Youth Centre will be made at the Cabinet meeting in September 2023.

The SOWYC Group thank councillors, Young People and the wider community for their support in achieving this positive response.

We want to re-iterate our request for the council to grant a moratorium, of at least 12 months, to allow further time to explore and pursue other options and funding streams to retain the only remaining youth centre of its kind in the borough.  And to make available, as previously requested,  the necessary financial documents to allow this to happen. 

We remind the council that over 5,000 people signed the petition to oppose the closure of the centre; and at the public meeting in March many young people spoke about the importance of the centre to their physical and mental health. We sincerely hope this will be central to the decision making in September.

We urge the council to commence a meaningful consultation with the users of the youth centre, to inform the report being compiled for September’s Cabinet meeting.

We would also like to ask for clarity from the council regarding the statement in the article that £14 million that is being invested in the borough into leisure facilities, where in the borough is this investment happening and when? We also request further details on the £4million being spent on the lido in Valentine’s Park and substantiation for the claim the lido will ‘cover it’s own costs’, as we are unaware of a single open-air lido in the country that is self-sufficient.

We invite councillors, as well as the wider community to come and experience the youth centre by attending the ‘Activities and Fun’ event, which is being organised by the campaign group and held at the centre (114 Elmcroft Avenue, E11 2DB) on 15th July  12-3pm (further details on Facebook)

To stay up to date join the ‘Save Wanstead Youth Centre’ Facebook group , or follow the campaign on Twitter @S_W_Y_C. To join the Group please email SaveWansteadYouthCentre@gmail.com or contact Liz Martins on 07403 649306.

Campaigners will host a fun day at the centre on 15 July from 2pm to 5pm to demonstrate the activities available at the venue.