BYZ New Logo 2022 (2)

Gift of a new home for Youth Zone Darwen this Christmas!

Youth Zone Darwen is set to move into new premises in the town centre to help keep up with the increasing demand for its services by young people within the local community. Next week, the charity will officially open its doors at Over Darwen House, in Railway Road – the former Britannia Building Society building – where it will be open seven days a week – offering sessions for young people every weeknight, as well as weekends and school holidays too.

The improved facilities will boast a brand-new well-being zone, creative workshop space, recording and DJ studio, gaming zone, and multi-games spaces. It’s also far more accessible for Youth Zone’s young users too.

Hannah Allen, Chief Executive of Blackburn and Darwen Youth Zone, said: “This move to bigger premises is testimony to the hard work of our team in Darwen and the young people across the area who really have adopted the Youth Zone as their own.

“We now have more than 250 young people visiting Youth Zone Darwen every single week, and this move will boost what we can offer and help us keep up with the demand . We sincerely thank our patrons and Blackburn with Darwen Council for recognising the importance of investing in services for Darwen’s young people and helping us achieve such incredible growth in such a short time. We can’t wait to show the new facilities off at a launch event planned later this month – what a
fantastic Christmas present for us all.”

Blackburn and Darwen Youth Zone is supported by patrons – businesses from across the area – who
help pay for 38% of the charities’ running costs each year. In the last two years, the number of patrons has impressively gone from 32 to now 71 patrons.
Due to the generous support, Youth Zone Darwen offers free membership, free entry and free hot
meals to all members.

The new Chair of Blackburn and Darwen Youth Zone, Wayne Wild said: “This move is fantastic news for the young people of Darwen and the wider community.As a charity dedicated to young people, Blackburn and Darwen Youth Zone provides more than 60 hours of services when schools are closed. Opening our doors to as many young people as possible really is key to our mission. We pride ourselves on working with our patrons and supporters to help bridge the gap between young people and local businesses and to support them through employability, education, volunteering and employee engagement. This move and expansion helps us meet our responsibility to help support and nurture the young people of Darwen, who now more than ever, need understanding, guidance and knowledge that
provide them the foundations to thrive.”

Blackburn with Darwen Council is also a key supporter of the Youth Zone.
The local authority supported successful applications for more than £8m of new funding for facilities
for young people across the borough through the Government’s Youth Investment Fund, the most
money awarded to any one place in the whole country.

The funding includes:
● Darwen Youth Centre – £3.3m
● Blackburn Youth Zone – £2.9m
● Audley and Queen’s Park Children’s Centre – £1m
● Shadsworth Hub – £800,000
Councillor Julie Gunn, Deputy Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council and Executive Member for
Children, Young People and Education, said: “What Youth Zone Darwen has achieved since opening
its doors really is impressive and this move will ensure young people in the area can continue to
access fantastic support.

“Having opened during the pandemic as a sister site to Blackburn Youth Zone, Youth Zone Darwen
has grown-and-grown, and so this move and expansion is a brilliant outcome for our youngsters in
the borough – supporting our mission to ensure every child and young person has opportunities to
fulfil their potential.”

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