About Us

Leatherhead Youth Project launched in 2005 to provide much needed services for socially and economically disadvantaged young people in Leatherhead North. Our aim is to help young people be safe, happy, resilient, and able to make positive changes in their own lives and in their community.

 

We take a relational and positive approach which provides support and skills to young people, helping them to overcome barriers they are facing and build a brighter future. We are a team of experienced youth workers and counsellors who care about the local community, and between us we have a total of 40 years of delivering services to young people in Leatherhead. You can read more about our history by scrolling down to our timeline.

Our Core Values

These core values summarise our ethos and approach as an organisation.

  • Faith:

    Our Christian faith inspires who we are and underpins our ethos as a compassionate and caring organisation.
  • Community:

    We are proud to be based in Leatherhead, a wonderful community with fantastic people and many excellent charities and groups. Our team all live within the local area and this allows us to maintain great relationships with the community. We launched the #LoveLeatherhead website and hashtag in 2013 to help capture and share the many great things happening in Leatherhead.
  • Respect:

    We respect the young people we work with and the community we live in, and during our projects we ask that young people respect themselves, each other, and the services we offer.
  • Integrity:

    As an organization we aim to promote and adopt transparency and accountability. This starts from the youth work we provide, to the way we treat our staff, to the procedures and policies which keep our organization going, and to the partnerships we have with other local organisations.
  • Relationship:

    We love people, and our approach is to build positive relationships with young people, families and fellow professionals. These relationships are respectful, appropriate and empowering.
  • Partnership:

    Working with others is essential to LYP. We believe in sharing resources and skills in order to provide the best services for local young people.
  • Innovation:

    We prides ourselves on running innovative and high quality services. We have developed a track record of providing creative services and are constantly looking to try new approaches to solving problems.
  • Aspirational:

    We aim to inspire young people to fulfill their potential. By providing support and positive experiences, we hope to empower young people to help them build a brighter future.

LYP Vision and Mission

Our Vision

A world in which young people are happy, safe and making a positive difference in their communities and the wider world.

 

Our Mission

Our Mission is to support young people by providing positive role models, practical and emotional help, and opportunities which empower them to make positive changes in their lives.

 

The LYP Team

Our team has a combined total of over 40 years experience of delivering youth work in Leatherhead. Read on to find out more about who's who.

Joe Crome

Joe grew up in Leatherhead and began working at LYP in 2007. After a break in 2009 to work for a large international development charity, Joe took on the management of local youth charity Liquid Connection. With Liquid Connection transferring their youth services to LYP in 2014, Joe now heads up the LYP team and is responsible for the day to day operations of the organisation as General Manager. Joe enjoys running, reading and is addicted to podcasts!

Fun Fact:

Joe is an identical twin.

Oli Bell

Having grown up in Cobham, Oli went to University in Plymouth and stayed there to work for several youth work services, including Restorative Justice for Plymouth’s Youth Offending Team. Oli joined LYP in 2012 to head up our preventative services as part of our Local Prevention Framework commission with Surrey County Council, and now heads up our new Bookham youth work programme. Oli has a passion for the outdoors and previously managed BFree Youth Cafe and several other projects, including Lads Night and Dig It.

Fun Fact:

Oli has a degree in allotment management.

Jude Crome

Jude is our One to One Manager, having fully qualified as a Counsellor in 2010. Jude has been working with young people in Leatherhead since 2008, with a particular focus on One to One support and counselling. Jude recently returned to work part time after taking maternity leave in 2016, following the birth of her twin daughters Freya and Olivia.

Fun Fact:

Jude has performed at Wembley Arena & Wembley Stadium.

Martin Fuller

Having grown up as a local young person attending BFree Youth Café and other LYP projects, Martin is now part of the team. After seeing the impact youth work can have first hand, Martin decided he wanted to become a youth worker and in 2016 he graduated with his youth work degree from Oasis College. As part of his responsibilities at LYP, Martin manages the BFree Youth Cafe project and also heads up the Total Football project, Cell Groups and Triumph.

Fun Fact:

Martin has been bitten by an American Bald Eagle, a dog, and a monkey.

Alex Ball

Alex was part of the Liquid Connection team from 2007 to 2014, focusing on providing one-to-one youth work to local young people as well as launching and running North Leatherhead United, an accessible football club for local teenagers. Alex currently provides One to One support to local young people as part of our new Early Help service, and is currently completing his Counselling masters qualifications.

Fun Fact:

Alex has been to Romania sixteen times and always comes back with fleas.

Aura Cole

Aura joined the LYP team in January 2016 as part of our One to One team. Aura has a degree in theology with counselling skills and has a background of working for charities and churches in a variety of roles. In her spare time, Aura likes travelling, drawing, painting and being outdoors.

Fun Fact:

Aura finished as runner-up at the Barista of the Year competition in 2011.

Mikey Dicken

Mikey moved to Leatherhead shortly after getting married in 2015. He has worked as a Learning Support assistant in secondary schools and a sixth form college specialising in supporting students with autism and asperger’s. Mikey is a keen gamer and enjoys attending gigs and festivals and is looking forward to challenging the young people to games of FIFA at Bfree.

Fun Fact:

Mikey lived and worked as a youth worker in Japan for 3 months.

Martyina Harnden

Martyina has been working as a youth worker since she was 18 years old, primarily in London. Her passion for youth work led Martyina to complete a ‘Youth Work and Ministry’ degree that she graduated from in July 2016. Martyina’s dream is to someday work abroad supporting vulnerable families in poverty stricken areas. Martyina’s aim is to “make a difference to young people’s live by encouraging them and seeing their gold".

Fun Fact:

Martyina is one of six children

The Board of Trustees

Rob Stevens

Doug Waters

Dave Tearall

Tim Hall

Sally Allen

Bruce Diffey

Rev. Graham Osborne

Leatherhead

Leatherhead is a place we are passionate about and we are glad to be a part of this wonderful community. We launched as a charity in 2005 with the aim of serving the community of Leatherhead North. Statistics show that there is a high number of NEET young people (not in education, employment or training) and some young people face economic disadvantage and a lack of opportunities. As an organization it is our aim to help build on the strengths of our community, whilst helping to address local deprivation through supporting young people and working with partnership organisations.

We see these statistics as an opportunity to understand the needs of our community in order to respond in a way which is informed and in consultation with local people. Our aim is that the youth work we do will have a direct impact on these statistics and help see positive change in our community.

North Leatherhead Profile (SOURCE: SCC Data 2011-2014)

6,000 residents 15.9% of children are living in poverty 63% of students living in North Leatherhead don't achieve 5 GSCEs at A - C grade

History of LYP

We have had an amazing 10 years, starting with one youth worker and an empty building, to now having 4 full time youth workers delivering youth services to over 350 young people. Have a look at the timeline below to see how the LYP journey unfolded..

The vision begins...

Leatherhead Methodist Church, Leatherhead Parish Church and Leatherhead URC, together with Mole Valley District Council, identified that there was a need for youth provision in the deprived area of Leatherhead North and began discussing ideas. Shortly after, Leatherhead Youth Project was registered as a charity.

Opening BFree Youth Cafe

After spending a year looking for suitable premises, LYP raised funds to convert the All Saints Church building into a state of the art youth centre. The building, which was named BFree Youth Cafe by a local young person, launched in April 2005 with Andy Gill recruited to manage the project.

Every day youth work

BFree soon became a hit with local young people, now open after school Monday-Friday and all day on Saturday. Jay Bristow joined Andy which allowed BFree to grow and put on new activities.

Also in 2006, LYP partnered with Liquid Connection to deliver the first Freestyle camp, a residential trip for 50 local young people.

LYP grows to 3 full-time staff

LYP launched the Total Football project in partnership with the local partnership office for Mole Valley, Christian Guy. The project gave the local boys something to be involved with on Friday nights, and immediately had over 60 young people taking part each week. Joe Crome joined the team in 2007 after volunteering with LYP on his gap year, and soon set up the BLAZE project.

BLAZE, Band Nights and Biking

BFree grew from strength to strength, with a growing staff team and diverse group of volunteers ensuring that the 70 young people attending each week were well supported. The BLAZE project thrived, giving young people the chance to give back to the community by completing gardening renovations for local elderly residents. We also launched our first band nights in 2008 and created the MTB mountain biking project.

Two new projects..

2009 saw the addition of two projects headed up by Megan Titley and Dani Taylor, offering creative arts opportunities for local teenagers through Leatherhead Dance Company and Photography workshops.

New support for local girls and a new football club

Lucy Greenland joined the team in 2010 and began partnering with Liquid Connection to run BLISS, which supports local young women with girls evenings and trips. We also ran our first Freestyle Survivor event, a survival skills day in the Surrey Hills.

2010 also saw the launch of North Leatherhead United Football Club, a team created specifically to allow young males to access competitive 11-a-side football.

 

 

Duke of Edinburgh launches

Our first Duke of Edinburgh group launched in 2011, after we raised money to help heavily subsidise the costs of the project for young people. Our group were fantastic and all managed to complete Bronze after a final expedition across the Surrey Hills.

Catherine Diffey joined the team as Business Manager in 2011, helping LYP to become ready for new commissioning opportunities being offered by Surrey County Council.

 

LYP takes huge steps forward..

2012 started a new chapter for LYP as we won the new Surrey County Council Local Prevention Framework commission for Leatherhead, allowing us to increase our support for young people likely to become NEET. Oli Bell was employed to head up this work with a strong background in working with at-risk young people.

Seeing education as an important issue to tackle in the local area, LYP partnered with Mole Valley Schools Partnership to host The Link, an alternative learning centre for young people who require some time away from their secondary schools. LYP helped to deliver the curriculum and focused on helping the students gain accreditations such as AQA awards.

During this time LYP also opened the first phase of Allsaints Coffee, which ran as a coffee shop during BFree Youth Café and was managed by Martin Fuller, who is now our Student Youth Worker.

Lads Night begins and 13 young people travel to Romania

Lads Night, a new Friday night project for local boys, was being attended by 40 young people each week, providing them with positive activities and a hot meal each week. We also began our community allotment project Dig It, which gave young people the chance to learn how to grow vegetables and maintain a plot.

2013 also featured our first Romania trip in partnership with Liquid Connection and Regenerate. 12 of our young people ran a summer camp for Roma teenagers in Transylvania, and it was a truly life changing experience.

The team also completed the Three Peaks Challenge, raising £2,000 for LYP.

Our biggest year of change so far..

2014 was another fantastic breakthrough year. After nearly 10 years of working alongside each other in partnership, the Liquid Connection staff of Joe Crome, Judith Crome and Alex Ball along with all Liquid Connection projects transferred over to LYP to work together as one team. This move allowed us to provide even better and expanded youth services for local young people. Liquid had been working closely with us for many years and in particular brought a wealth of experience in one-to-one work, with Jude being a qualified counsellor and having provided thousands of hours of one-to-one support to students at Therfield School.

We also broke new ground as an organization by launching our first social enterprise, Allsaints. After years of dreaming about being able to employ young people who have the least opportunities, we raised sufficient funding to realize this ambition and start our own coffee shop open to the public. After a year of preparation and planning, Allsaints launched in October 2014, with Andy Gill leading a team of 3 young apprentices.

10 years of LYP!

2015 started off with the news that LYP had been re-awarded the Local Prevention commission for Leatherhead by Surrey County Council. In addition, LYP was the successful bidder of the new One-to-One commission for Mole Valley, which started September 2015 and allow us to grow our services across the borough of Mole Valley for the first time. LYP achieved the National Youth Agency Quality Mark, which awards quality youth work delivery as well as good organisational practice.

In March we were able to celebrate our 10th birthday with over 100 friends joining us to look back on 10 years of great memories.

An exciting year ahead..

Funders

We would like to thank the following organisations and groups for generously supporting our work with grant funding in 2014/2015:

Huge thanks to our recent funders for helping us continue our work

Exxonmobil

Toyota Fund

Shanly Foundation

Youth Social Action Fund

East Court Fund

Gatwick Foundation Fund

Veolia Trust Fund

Waitrose Leatherhead

Field Studies Council - Kids Fund (Juniper Hall residential)

Leatherhead Community Association

Wates Foundation

Garfield Weston Foundation

The Henry Smith Charity

The Bellinger Donnay Trust

Thomas Flack Trust Fund

Lloyds Bank Foundation

High Sheriff of Surrey Youth Awards

Surrey Hills Trust Fund

Peter Harrison Foundation

Leatherhead United Charities

Leatherhead Parish Church

Leatherhead Methodist Church

Leatherhead United Reformed Church

Church Urban Fund

SAP

Surrey Police Crime Commissioner

Surrey County Council Community Improvement Fund

Surrey County Council Local Allowance - Tim Hall

Wates

How you can help to create change

Donate

Your donation will go straight into helping us run projects for local young people.

An example of how your donation will help...

£20 covers a 5-A-Day healthy eating session at BFree.
£50 covers our football equipment for a term of Total Football.
£100 pays for 6 one-to-one sessions between a youth worker and young person.

Donate Now

Volunteer

We are always looking for volunteers who can help us with the work we do.

Suitable volunteers will need to be able to relate young people and build positive relationships with them. Please contact us for a role description and to talk more about this if you are interested in volunteering.

Get in touch

Fundraise

We always welcome help with fundraising.

We have previously benefitted from individuals completing sponsored events on our behalf, such as Runs and Triathlons. If you would like to raise funds for us, please contact us to discuss this further.

Learn More