#Inclusion Matters

Rathbone took part in the first meeting of London Youth’s new project: The London Youth Inclusion Network. This year’s theme is “Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities”. with this in mind the group got stuck in discussing the definitions of the key words “access” and “empowerment” and the challenges that come with making their organisations inclusive.



The meeting provided a great opportunity for a varied range of service providers to come together to share ideas, discuss best practice and learn from each others experiences of inclusion. Read more here

This was the first of many more to come. Our hope is that inclusion will be at the heart of future youth work!

We lost the plot!

Hello everybody!

It’s been a very busy year for the gardening group. We moved from our plot at the top of the hill to one more accessible for our users. We had some new people join the group and everyone worked very hard moving all the plants, pots and furniture down the hill to the new location. Here we are visiting the new plot.

The new plot
The new plot

During the winter the group got involved with the West Norwood Bzz Garage, and helped to plant trees, flowers and vegetables to encourage bees.  We also went with the Open Orchard group to plant fruit trees all round the borough. Here we are having a free lunch at the Bzz Garage.

A reward for our hard work.
One of the trees planted in the Rathbone garden
Enjoying our summer bbq, it’s not all work!
We collected windfall apples.
Crushing the apples in the press to make juice
Cutting up wood for the bonfire
Making and sieving compost
Pulling up one of the many pieces of carpet under the plot
Pulling out the old runner beans
Visiting Dean City Farm
A visit to Kensington Roof Gardens
A flamingo on the roof keeping warm.
Relaxing in the Spanish Garden


Now we’ve found the plot we’ll keep you posted!

Poppy seed bread sausage casserole and banana split

Okay, so you came early…and thought you could sit down chill out watch TV?


What do we have in the cupboard? Lets get to work…..

Yeast, sugar, self-raising flour, poppy seeds, salt, milk and water.

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Kneaded and left to rise…..


Then we Rolled out and twisted it, and before the shoppers even got back…..

The smell of fresh bread was floating in the air…..

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Let’s get cooking…..

We honey fried the sausages and onions (Yes, honey fried. trust us on this)…..

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And then all the veg into the gravy and sausages in while the potatoes and sweet potatoes where being roughly smashed…..

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And just when you thought it was all over…..


Fencing Project

The youth club have embarked on an 8 week program, led by an experienced fencing pro to teach us all how to Fence.




Fencing is a sport which promotes honesty, humility, for-thinking and patience. It is also a great workout and the young people at the old library have really enjoyed engaging with an activity which is different to the norm.





















As you can see the young people are really picking up some skills and if you or anyone you know wants to join in the classes are running from 6-7pm every Thursday at the Old Library.. and its completely FREE! So come down and get involved.

Smashed it!!!!

22531688606_76c7146d94_zOur young people have done us proud!

A group of budding young table tennis players took part in the London Youth Festival – Jack Petchey Table Tennis Competition

London Youth joined forces with Jack Petchey at Joola Morpeth TTC on Wednesday 28th October 2015 when many youngsters demonstrated their potential and great table tennis skills.

Our group played hard and fast but were just pipped at the post coming 2nd in the final round.

A big well done to all who took part!

New Table Tennis Academy Launches @ The Old Library!

What a great night at the Youth Club on Friday for the Launch of the Old Library Table Tennis Academy.  Over 18 of our youth club members turned up to see Darius Knight the team GB International table tennis star.



The atmosphere was electric.  Our members were keen to take on Darius and show off their table tennis skills but first Darius and Lina, who will be running the 40 week Table Tennis Academy at The Old Library, wanted to meet and chat with young people and let them know what the Academy was all  about.  Darius gave an inspirational speech, which meant our young people were raring to go and couldn’t wait to take on the great man himself.


All the young people got to play a game of table tennis with Darius and each of them fought valiantly but none of them managed to defeat Darius (although we’re quite sure by the end of the tournament there will be some real contenders who can take on the challenge.).

Darius and team
Darius, Lina (new coach) and Trainees pose for a quick photo!


The event was amazing and a great start to the Table Tennis Academy.  Watch this space for the next rising table tennis star right Outta of West Norwood.


City Pitch

Meeting Levi Roots
It was awesome meeting Levi Roots!

Wow what a night we had at City Hall.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with City Pitch, it gives young Londoners the opportunity to pitch their community project ideas in a dragon dens style event. This would enable us to secure some funding for our truly inspirational 50/50 Project, an idea put together by our Youth Management Team.  The idea being,  an upskilling project where any funding secured will be split 50/50 between the boys Bike Maintenance project and the girls, Beauty Therapy project.

11 of us started out on this project, however, due to over commitments on the night it was left down to 5 of us, (shock, horror!) to deliver the pitch! It was hard work learning new lines on the train to City Hall but I gotta say, we were fairly confident that we could do this.

The PitchIf you’ve ever been to City Hall, you will know that security is tight and we had to go through airport style security before we could actually get into City Hall, time was running out and we were cutting it fine. As soon as we got past security we were over the moon and so excited to meet with Levi Roots who was comparing the evening events.    He was great and soon put us at ease, sharing stories from his time on Dragons Den and giving us his secret tips and advice (which sorry can’t tell you it’s a secret).

We did it!! Congratulations to all the other winners too!

The cheque

It was show time, remember we had minimal rehearsal time plus the nerves we’re kicking in, we started off really shaky for the 1st minute or two, but then we found our stride and we gave a confident presentation of the 50/50 project.  We got a large applause at the end (I think they liked the idea!)

After what seemed hours, when in fact was only a few minutes, the judges returned and we waited anxiously to hear the results.

Get in there! They loved our pitch and as a result we secured £1000 to deliver our 50/50 Project.

IMG_20150924_202908Well done to all of those that took part in what was a great evening.