The visit formed part of the United Futures campaign, calling on business to take a more active role in supporting youth services.
St Andrews, like many other clubs around England it is having to look for new sources of income in light of on-going spending cuts.
“St Andrew’s has been supporting young people for 146 years. With funding for youth services being cut we desperately need to build new partnerships if we are to continue our work. Developing good links with local businesses is something we have been actively working on.” Naomi Roper, Head of Development, St Andrew’s Club.
The club has benefitted from a long-term partnership with property company Land Securities, who manage a number of developments in Westminster. Over the last three years it has donated funding, equipment and staff time to help support club activities.
The Minister stressed the need for businesses to seek opportunities to support young people in the communities in which they operate.
“In a tough economic climate, bringing in charities and businesses to help develop and provide youth services, is the way forward. Youth clubs like St Andrews are vital community spaces and highlight the important role that out-of-school services play in the lives of many young people.” Tim Loughton MP.
The party also had the chance to meet the team behind London’s largest youth outreach programme, Rolling Sound. Their mobile technology truck, The Lab, has been at the forefront of multimedia education for young people since 2003.
“The Lab Project outreach work gives young people the chance to grow personally and socially through meaningful engagement. Business support can help projects like ours continue to make a difference in communities that need it the most.” Ayo Osideinde, Project Manager, The Lab.
Research shows there are many business benefits linked to community engagement programmes, from increased staff motivation to positive PR. The business leaders all expressed their commitment to the campaign and willing to further support young people at a local level.
For more information on United Futures, click here