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Project information

The Old Library Youth Club

Our integrated youth club is free and open to young people with or without learning disabilities and Autism. Our Big Idea is to provide a service which supports all young people to achieve their aspirations regardless of their needs and abilities.

April 2017 - March 2019

Charity information: Lambeth Elfrida Rathbone Society

Lambeth Elfrida Rathbone Society logo
  • Need


    The project is trying to support young people who are facing the dilemma's of growing up in inner-city London. Many of the young people we support come from single parent families and have experienced early-life disadvantages. Too many disillusioned young people are being drawn into gang and drugs activities and damaging their future life potential.


    We are trying to offset these challenges by offering targeted activities to engage with local young people. Our youth work interventions aim to increase self esteem, personal resilience and encourage aspirations. We are building a youth club environment in which young people can come along and fee safe, respected and valued.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Young people will have better career prospects.


    » Accredited media, sport and arts programmes Homework assistance Youth Leadership programme Employability workshops Volunteering opportunities

    What success will look like

    More accreditation's and qualifications achieved
    Improved school achievement
    Enhanced employability skills
    More attainable aspirations

    Aim 2

    Young people with have improved physical and mental health management


    » Life skills and coaching sessions Health and well-being courses Trips and residential activities

    What success will look like

    Improved self esteem
    Improved relationships
    Improved emotional resilience
    Increased leadership
    Improved decision making skills

    Aim 3

    Young people will have increased independent living skills


    » Life skills learning such as cooking, money management etc Health and well-being courses Learning how to stay safe

    What success will look like

    Improved knowledge of how to stay safe
    Increased understanding of self management
    Better financial and money management skills

  • Impact


    Our long term aim is 'All young people are able to make informed choices that enable them to reach their individual potential and lead fulfilling lives'. We demonstrate this by monitoring, so we know how many young people are using our services, how often and for how long.
    We evaluate our work by talking to the young people, find out what they enjoy, what works for them and why. We use an electronic reporting system which tracks the outputs and outcomes of the projects and produces reports.


    The major risks to the success of the projects are financial. We need to maintain a sustainable income to ensure that we can meet the costs of the project. The highest costs we face are paying the staff and the upkeep of our building.
    We are continually trying to find new ways of diversifying our income. We are making good use of great volunteers where we can. We are working in partnership with lots of other local groups to save or share costs and resources and to avoid duplication of work.


    We will report to donors through a monthly update email detailing our achievements, successes, challenges and setbacks. We also encourage the beneficiaries of all of our projects to produce regular 'blogs' which are posted on our website. We also encourage donors to follow us on social media.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £25,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £14,000 Wages Wages for youth workers
      £6,000 Building Rates, Repairs, Heat & Light
      £3,000 Activities Activity and materials
      £2,000 Admin Insurance, Office costs
  • Background


    The project is based in the beautiful Old Library building in West Norwood, Lambeth, London.
    Norwood is made up of 3 wards: Gipsy Hill, Knights Hill and Thurlow Park.
    Norwood has a total population of just over 42,000 which is 14% of the population of Lambeth. There are almost 7,500 young people aged 5 to 19 years living within the Norwood locality;16% of Lambeth’s population in this age group.


    Our service is targeted at mainstream young people from the Norwood catchment area aged between 11 and 19.
    However, because we offer a unique specialist service to young people with learning disabilities and Autism, we enable attendance by this group from the whole of Lambeth. For the most vulnerable people in this group, we provide supported transport.

    On an average week, 75 young people attend the club. About 30% of these young people will have learning disabilities and Autism.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Our charity was established 49 years ago and at the time it's primary aim was to provide activities to teenagers with learning disabilities. Although the charity has diversified over the years and now provides a number of services, we have maintained this core service and recently expanded to include mainstream young people. We have significant understanding and expertise in supporting young people to develop and achieve. We have recently been shortlised for a CYP Now youth work award.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Andrew Preston

    Chief Executive. Andrew has worked for the charity for 20 years and has long term experience of providing services in Norwood and Lambeth.

    Charline King

    Youth Service Manager Charline has worked in youth services with mainstream young people and those with learning disabilities and Autism for 17 years.


Will pay for 1 youth worker for 1 youth club session.

I like to see my friends at youth club. I have become more confident and worry less about what people think of me because of the youth club. The youth club has taught me that everyone is different and we should accept that. The youth club also gives me space to hang out with friends.

Louise –aged 17 years old. Young person with learning disabilities.