Furzedown Youth Centre
FYC is a Youth Centre which has been serving the community of Furzedown, in London, since 2003. It was set up and is supported by a collective initiative of four local churches:
- St James’ Church, West Streatham (Team Rector: Rev. Rob Powell)
- St Alban’s Church, Streatham Park (Team vicar: Rev. Marc Richauex)
- St Paul’s Church, Furzedown (Team vicar: Rev. Canon Dr Sue Clarke)
- Mitcham Lane Baptist Church (Pastor: Rev. Ian Hare)
Collectively known as Furzedown Churches, these churches are bound by a covenant which commits us to do all we can to serve the community of Furzedown together and to see it thrive. FYC is a manifestation of this commitment.
FYC is a service to the whole community: we welcome all young people regardless of race, gender, culture, sexuality or religion. According to our Statement of Purpose:
- “The Furzedown Youth Centre Limited exists to provide high quality recreational and educational activities to young people in Year 6 to Year 12, within a safe and supportive Christian environment, to help promote their social, emotional and spiritual well-being and to maximise their leadership potential.”
FYC is a safe and secure place where young people can develop socially, emotionally, physically and spiritually. We provide fun activities that aim to challenge and encourage young people but our priority is to always make sure there is time to talk with young people, listening to what’s happening in their lives and supporting them in whatever way we can.
FYC’s premises occupy the lower floor of St James’ church hall (see picture); they are provided rent-free by St James’. They consist three spacious rooms, one of which is provided with basic kitchen and serving facilities and another with projection and AV facilities, along with toilet facilities and extensive storerooms. The building is over 100 years old and is below modern standards in some respects, particularly with regard to disabled access, damp-proofing and toilet provision. FYC is responsible for cleaning, furnishing and routine (non-structural) maintenance.
At present we provide a regular service on Fridays in term-time, consisting of an after school drop-in facility for young people in school years 7 to 13, and an evening club session for years 5-11, which has more structured activities. In addition, we provide extra-mural activities such as one-day or residential visits to activity centres (such as London Youth’s Hindleap Warren) and outings to theme parks and the like. Extending and enriching the existing range of provision will be a priority for the Outreach Worker.
Financially FYC is supported mainly by the Furzedown Churches, but a vital contribution is made by individual donors and by funding bodies such as London Youth, the Jack Petchey Foundation and the Co-op Local Community Fund. With this support, we currently employ two youth leaders on a part-time basis and engage the services of volunteers from a pool of adults and young adults, drawn mainly from the four congregations. On-site apprenticeship training is given to younger volunteers and opportunity is given to Duke of Edinburgh Award candidates to exercise leadership skills through running club activities, for the public benefit.
FYC is offered to the community as a service, a witness to God’s unconditional love and a demonstration of the values of the Kingdom. In accordance with our Statement of Purpose, we offer an inclusive programme accessible to all young people. The Furzedown Churches have parallel youth ministries to support church-based believers for which the Outreach Worker will not be directly responsible. The Outreach Worker will be responsible for creating a new ‘church for the unchurched’ with young people.