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 60 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 and work across the whole of Mole Valley. Many of our team live within the local area and this allows us to maintain great relationships with the community.
  • 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 85 years of experience delivering youth work with 60 of those years in Leatherhead. Read on to find out more about who's who.

Jude Crome – Interim CEO and One to One Manager

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. Following the birth of her twin daughters Freya and Olivia in 2016, Jude returned to work and can be found in the office Monday through to Thursday.

Fun Fact:

Jude has performed at Wembley Arena & Wembley Stadium.

Alex Ball – One to One Counsellor

Alex has been working with young people since 2007, delivering one to one youth work, launching the North Leatherhead United football club, and delivering relational youth work projects. Alex is currently part of our One to One Counselling team, and has recently completed his Masters in Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Fun Fact:

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

Aura Trebble – One to One Support Worker

Aura joined the LYP team in January 2016 as part of our One to One Counselling team. She graduated in 2010 with a degree in Counselling Skills and Theology. Aura previously worked as a Centre Manager for a local charity and as an Event Manager for a church. She also grew up locally having been to Therfield for school and sixth form.

Fun Fact:

Aura held a Guinness World Record for all of two weeks.

Mikey Dicken – Key Work Lead Youth Worker

Mikey moved to Leatherhead 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 has completed his Level 3 qualification in Counselling and now heads up our Key Work project amongst others, building upon the experience he has gathered.

Fun Fact:

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

Dave Tearall – Funding and Administration Officer

Dave has been involved with LYP in a number of guises since the very early days, starting as a parent when one of his daughters attended projects. In 2009 he then became a volunteer at Triumph AM. Throughout this time Dave was working for one of the major UK banks and after taking early retirement in 2012, he joined the LYP board as Finance Director for a number of years. In 2018 Dave was asked to take on the new role of Funding and Administration officer and so became an employee.

Fun Fact:

The only role Dave hasn’t had at LYP is that of a young person as he was over 40 when LYP’s work started!

Jenny Coffin – Bookham Lead Youth Worker

Jenny joined LYP in 2018 and is responsible for running BYouth and a new Girl's Project in Bookham. Having grown up locally, Jenny also went to Therfield. Before joining LYP, she completed a degree in ‘Applied Theology with Youth and Community Work’, and also completed two gaps years working with young people in Ashtead and Cape Town. She enjoys getting to know the young people in Bookham, seeing them grow and become more empowered to shape their futures.

Fun Fact:

Jenny has travelled around South Africa on a harley.

Hope Bancroft – Community Youth Worker

Hope recently started at LYP having worked previously at The Eikon Charity as a Youth and Early Help Worker in Surrey Heath. She moved to Surrey in 2018 after completing her degree in 'Applied Theology and Youth and Community Work’ and getting married! She has also has a qualification in Specialist Make-up for TV and Film. Hope is looking forward to getting to know the young people and being part of the LYP team.

Fun Fact:

Hope has dual citizenship for the UK and Canada.

Aaron Evans – Community Youth Worker

Aaron recently joined LYP and is very excited to get to know the young people in Leatherhead! He spent the last 5 years as a personal trainer along with 2 years of youth pastoring at his local church. His ambition is to be that steady consistent friend for the young people, a friend he himself wishes he could have had at their age. He hopes to see the community flourish and young people across Leatherhead impacted by the love and support shown by LYP.

Fun Fact:

Aaron worked as an actor from when he was a child.

The Board of Trustees

Our Board has a broad range of experience and skills that help to support and guide the work of Leatherhead Youth Project. Read on to find out more about who's who.

Cllr Tim Hall

Tim Is the last remaining founder Director/Trustee of LYP, having been there from the start. Previously Leader of Mole Valley District Council and now the Surrey County Councillor for Leatherhead & Fetcham East, Tim is constantly amazed at the progress of LYP from half an empty Church Hall, to the wide-ranging organisation and tremendous staff team we have, including Allsaints. Having gone to School at Therfield and been a local Scout in North Leatherhead, Tim is also a founder volunteer at Leatherhead Foodbank, a Steward of Leatherhead Methodist Church and Vice-Chairman of Governors at Trinity Primary School.

Rev. Graham Osborne

The exciting work of LYP was a significant factor in Graham’s decision to apply for the post of Rector of Leatherhead & Mickleham. He has been a director since his appointment in 2009. In November 2012, at his instigation, All Saints Church was dedicated solely to the work of LYP and it has gone from strength to strength. Graham’s interests include sport, reading, music and computing. He is married to Nicky and they have three adult children, two sons-in-law and a very new granddaughter.

Rev. Rob Stevens

Rob is a Minister at Bookham Baptist Church and has been married to Alona for 18 years. They have four children ranging in age from 17 to 5. Rob has been involved in both church and community youth work since he was 16. He has been involved in Leatherhead Youth project for the last few years, particularly since the development of Bookham youth project and is currently serving as the Chair of Trustees. Rob says, ‘I love the DNA of LYP, particularly our commitment to building relationships with young people and serving them consistently week after week and year after year’.

Anne Chamberlain

Anne worked for 40 years as a child care professional. After qualifying as a social worker, she worked in front line protection and as an approved mental health worker, before moving to a local authority run Family Centre where she became manager from 1998 to 2016. She was also a member of the South Essex Adoption Panel for 10 years. She has undertaken various specialist training including domestic abuse and sexual abuse training. She moved to Surrey in 2016 and joined the LYP board in early 2017. She says, ‘I am very proud to be involved with LYP which offers an extremely comprehensive, professional and holistic service to local young people’.

Bethany Eckley

Bethany has over 12 years’ experience working in the public and third sectors. She currently works as a freelance consultant, supporting charities to develop new strategies for change and to grow their impact. Previously she has worked with Church Urban Fund, the Church of England's domestic poverty charity, Oxfam, Amnesty International and the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Bethany has recently moved to the area, she is an active member of St George's in Ashtead and is keen to support the work of local churches in the community.

Nigel Boniface

Nigel is relatively new to LYP having been involved over the last few months as a member of the LYP Board and also part of AllSaints management team. He has lived in Ashtead for over 30 years, is married to Jane and both their children attended Therfield school. Nigel spent most of his career in senior HR roles for large businesses and is now retired.

Mike Coffin

Mike has worked for 37 years as a Cost Accountant, which has taken him to over a dozen countries, across three continents. Most of the travel was carried out while working with a Christian relief and development charity. He was previously the auditor for both All Saints Cafe and LYP. This provided an opportunity to support the finance work and get to know many of the team well. Mike's interests include football, men’s outreach, hiking and a wide range of popular music. He is married to Jacqui and they have two adult children and a son-in-law

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 14 years, starting with one youth worker and an empty building, to now having 9 staff delivering youth services to over 600 young people every year. 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 Bfree Youth Cafe Manager!

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. The One to One team, headed up by Jude Crome with support from Alex Ball and Aura Cole, delivers counselling and mentoring sessions across the district with referrals coming directly from Surrey's Children's Services and local schools. In our first year, we delivered over 350 sessions of One to One support right across Mole Valley.

LYP also 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.

Expanding further...

2016 was another year of growth for LYP. After launching the new Mole Valley One to One Early Help service in 2015, 2016 saw an exciting new opportunity come to fruition; the launch of the new Bookham Youth Project.

After being approached by Bookham Parish Church, Eastwick Road Church and Bookham Baptist Church, we agreed to re-launch youth work in Bookham with a programme of community youth work in the Bookham Youth Centre and also support some of the faith offer of the Churches. Our experienced Senior Youth Worker, Oli Bell, headed up this initiative and begun preparing the ground ready to launch this exciting initiative in January 2017.

We also welcome Martyina Harnden and Mikey Dicken to the youth work team, who joined Martin Fuller in delivering BFree Youth Cafe and our programme of youth work in Leatherhead. We said goodbye to Kara Davies, who moved back to New Zealand to be closer to her family, and we thanked Kara for the huge contribution she made in her time with us.

Royal Visit, new projects and record breaking numbers..

We were honoured to start the year with a Royal visit from HRH The Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward. Partnering with the Community Foundation for Surrey, we hosted an action packed visit which allowed His Royal Highness to meet young people and youth workers from our projects and even try his hand at making a capuccino! A fantastic experience for everyone involved.

Later in the year we were also excited to achieve a number of 'firsts' for LYP. In June we organised our first ever Gala Dinner which was generously hosted and delivered by our friends at City of London Freemen's School, who went above and beyond and allowed us to seat 70 guests and raised over £5,000.

We also ran our first 'conference' - hosting an evening at Therfield School for parents and young people about internet safety and the risks of CSE.

June continued to be a busy month as we ran Into the Wild, a wilderness expedition for young people which involved wild camping in hammocks under the stars!

Staff changes and new funding for more support

2018 saw numerous staff changes at LYP with Oli Bell becoming interin General Manager, Dave Tearall starting as Funding and Admin Officer and Jenny Coffin starting in the Autumn as Bookham Lead Youth Worker. There were also changes to our board of trustees, all bringing with them a wealth of experience.

Volunteers raised a record amount of funding this year with cyclists taking on Ride London, friends of LYP completing incredible challenges including numerous marathons and the second LYP Gala raising almost £8k! We also successfully received funding from the National LotteryCommunity Fund which enabled us to continue providing much needed projects.

We saw record numbers of young people attending the Girls Group, BYouth and BFree projects and we were able to take a group of young people out to Romania where they ran games and activities for local gypsy children.

We developed self-care plans for our staff, ran and received numerous training courses and climbed a mountain in Wales as part of expanding our Into the Wild project!

Funders

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

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

Bookham Baptist Church Christ Church United Reformed, Leatherhead East Court Fund Eastwick Road Church Fetcham United Charities Field Studies Council - Kids Fund (Juniper Hall residential) Garfield Weston Foundation Leatherhead Community Association Leatherhead Parish Church Leatherhead Methodist Church Leatherhead Parish Church St Nicolas' Church, Bookham Surrey Hills Trust Fund Surrey County Councillors' Local Allocation - Councillors Tim Hall & Clare Curran ...and all our amazingly generous individual donors.  

How you can help to create change

Donate

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

£20 covers a 5-a-day healthy eating session

£50 covers a Girls Group session for 50 girls

£100 pays for 6 One to One counselling sessions

Donate

Volunteer

We are recruiting for volunteers now! Volunteers help us deliver almost everything we do.

You will need to be able to relate to young people, build positive relationships with them and buy into our teamwork approach.  Please contact us for a role description and to talk more about this if you are interested.

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, Cycles and Triathlons. If you would like to raise funds for us, please contact us to discuss this further.

Learn More