Mystery donor pledges to double donations to Youth Zone

A mystery donor has come forward offering to match all donations made towards the Legacy Youth Zone in Selhurst.

Double bubble: a mystery donor has pledged to match monthly donations to the charity in 2022

The Legacy Youth Zone, which serves a membership of more than 6,000 young people, but was told before Christmas that it is to lose all of its £300,000 annual funding from Croydon’s cash-strapped council.

But the people behind the Legacy Youth Zone charity have been given the chance to double their money in their latest appeal, thanks to the generosity of one of their major donors.

The sponsor, who wants to remain anonymous, has offered to match fund new donations this year, doubling any donations made by new monthly givers. This means donors typically paying £20 each month by direct debt will see their donation to the Legacy Youth Zone doubled to £40.

The Legacy Youth Zone’s other funding partners include local businesses, community groups and philanthropists that have all come together to help launch the charity and support its ongoing funding and ability to deliver vital services for young people.

Partnership: Legacy Youth Zone’s chief exec Barnabas Shelbourne

The Legacy Youth Zone currently operates on a budget of around £1.8million per year.

“We have received funding from a wide range of incredible supporters over the past two years and we are really proud to have established Legacy Youth Zone as a vital charity serving Croydon’s young people in their thousands at time when they have really needed support,” said Barnabas Shelbourne, the Legacy Youth Zone’s CEO.

“Everything we do is about partnership. Without the ongoing support from major donors, local organisations, community groups and individuals that can give on a regular basis however big or small, we wouldn’t be here.

“This match funding opportunity is a fantastic way to incentivise people to give, knowing that their funds will go further and reach more young people in our community.”

Legacy Youth Zone is an independent charity that offers young people aged from eight to 19 (or up to 25 if they have additional needs) a safe environment to find opportunities and receive support that helps them reach their full potential.

For an annual membership of £5 plus 50p per visit, members enjoy more than 20 activities per day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. They can even buy a hot nutritious meal for £1.

Hard at work: more than 100 volunteers and youth workers have been recruited by the Zone

Since opening, the charity has recruited more than 100 youth workers and volunteers to offer activities such as music production, sport, performing arts, climbing and cooking. Alongside the activities, Legacy Youth Zone offers support to young people and their families facing challenges such as food poverty, physical and mental health, youth crime and employment.

The charity has played a role in supporting Croydon’s young people through the covid-19 pandemic, adapting its operational model to offer online workshops in areas including exercise and cooking. Additionally, youth workers engaged with young people through wellbeing calls to check-in with members and their families and delivering almost 15,000 free food parcels to the community.

“Our commitment and dedication to young people is our priority and young people need our support more than ever before as we emerge from the pandemic,” Shelbourne said.

“That’s why we are asking for the backing of the community through regular giving to help us give Croydon’s young people the support and services they need and deserve.”

For more information about the charity Legacy or to donate visit:

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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