A vicar, a policeman and a football coach walked into a club…
It sounds like the start of a joke but it proved to be the beginning of MTV Youth, Hampton – a local youth project set up in response to concerns raised in the local community over a lack of support for young people and rising anti-social behaviour.
Reverend David Lloyd of St Mary’s church, PCSO Marek ‘Maz’ Regan of the Hampton Safer Neighbourhood team and local youth worker (then football coach) Nick Neilan met in early 2011, united with a deep desire to make a positive difference to the lives of the young people in Hampton, particularly those living in and around the Oldfield road estate.
On Saturday 12th March 2011 we ran our first session at the Oldfield Centre, coaching football to 5 kids from the Oldfield road estate, the 10 footballs having been donated by 10 members of St Mary’s church. The football proved very popular and momentum soon gathered leading to the decision to create a youth club on the same site. A committed group of twenty volunteers (aged 16 to 70+ years old) were soon assembled from St Mary’s church & the wider community and the church provided the funds necessary to progress the youth work. Penny Dimond joined the leadership team and suddenly there was order!
On the evening of Friday 28th October 2011, MTV Youth was officially launched.
Despite not advertising, the club grew rapidly as word of mouth spread amongst the youth. Soon 50-60+ kids were regularly attending each week, enjoying a wide range of activities on offer whether it be football, skateboarding, basketball, arts & crafts, cooking, wide games, treasure hunts or more specialist workshops such as drumming with dustbins, spray art, rapping and water rockets.
Our first grant from Hampton Fuel Allotment Charity (now the Hampton Fund) at the turn of the year ensured we could continue the existing work for another year and launch a series of ‘extracurricular’ small group sessions. That was 9 years ago…
9 years on and MTV Youth is still going strong!
We are back on the site where it all began but this time we are in our own venue – the ex-caretaker’s bungalow, formerly part of the Oldfield Centre premises, which we have now renovated and developed for community use.
Much has happened since MTV Youth first began (click here for the full story of the club from 2011-2019) but key things have remained.
We still receive tremendous support from a committed group of twenty plus volunteers who want to make a difference to the lives of young people and the local community.
We still continue to work with 40-50+ young people each week at our Friday night youth club and other initiatives, providing them with a space where they can hang out, try new things, make friends and have fun.
We still receive fantastic support from organisations such as the Hampton Fund, St Mary’s Hampton Church and local supporters who highly value the work that we do and the difference it makes.
The biggest thing that has remained though is the reason we started this thing in the first place – our desire to see lives transformed and potential fulfilled.
If you think you can help give towards this project through your time or skills, then please get in touch. If you can give financially, please do so.
We believe that this is just the start of something great and we would love you to help.
We hope you can join us on this amazing adventure!
The MTV Team