Tackling deprivation in Queens Park

Alex Williamson | 02.05.14

Its a short tube ride from the LandAid offices on Haymarket to one of the most deprived wards in London, Queens Park.

As home to the notorious Mozart Estate, it's hard to believe that the ward is located in the same borough as the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace.

The tourist attractions of central London are a world away from Queens Park. It has the highest proportion of people claiming unemployment benefit in the borough (27%). With one of the highest child populations in the capital, it is estimated that over 40% of children in Queens Park are entitled to free school meals, while 47% live with parents who do not work.

Last Friday Liz, Laureen and Alex from the LandAid team paid a visit to Queens Park to meet with charity partner Avenues Youth Project, which was set up in 1979 to provide after-school activities for disadvantaged children and young people in the area. LandAid are providing a grant of £50,000 to help the Avenues Youth Project refurbish their centre, serving 400 young people per year.

At the centre, Queens Park's young residents are able to get involved with a range of activities which help them to broaden their experiences, widen their horizons and find work in the future. These include CV writing workshops, an annual Fashion Showcase and the Avenues FM community radio station.

Following a delicious Caribbean lunch – for which we were joined by four representatives of LandAid Partner PwC – Trustee Virginia Ashton and Senior Youth Worker Carol Bent gave us a guided tour of the project centre. Much of the LandAid grant will be used to give the centre's ground floor a complete overhaul, making it a much more welcoming environment. While the recently-refurbished second floor boasts a state of the art recording studio and radio station, the ground floor desperately needs some work.

Avenues Youth Project is just another exemplary example of the great projects that LandAid is able to invest in with the generosity and support of the property industry. Special thanks to our friends at Avenues Youth Project, and our fellow guests from PwC, for making the visit so informative and enjoyable.

To find out more about attending future LandAid charity visits, contact Laureen today.