Our History

Shadow Youth Alliance (SYA) formerly known as St Peter’s Youth Alliance was established in 2000 by local young people who were concerned with the poor level of youth provision within the Bethnal Green North Ward of Tower Hamlets. Today it still is the only youth centre provision in the Bethnal Green North Ward. SYA’s main aim is to provide youth facilities for young people at the ages of 11 to 25 years.

With various grants, support from local organisations and committed individuals SYA developed basic youth services such as the youth club and activity programmes during school holidays. With the first year funding from the Jack Petchey Foundation in 2004 SYA employed an experienced youth worker who would run the youth club, co-ordinate activities during school holidays and develop new services.

We have been able to work with some of the most vulnerable young people in the Bethnal Green North Ward who are at risk or are involved in anti-social behaviour. We have been able to attract many of these young people to our football programme and some to our youth club. At least 30% to 40% of the 60 young people currently on our football programme are at risk of getting involved in anti-social behaviour and/or are marginalised from the mainstream community.

As SYA has been increasing in its strength we have also been attracting more skilled Board Members to help the organisation run more effectively. As a result we now have a group of very skilled people who oversee the work of the organisation – professions include: Local Government, Law Enforcement, Accountancy, Pharmacology, Drugs Education and youth and community development.

Aims & Objectives

Our key aims and objectives are the following:

  • Increase educational, employment and social skills of young people under the age of 25
  • Help and motivate young people to engage in socially constructive activities so that they become better citizens
  • Help prevent young people from getting involved in petty crime and anti-social behaviour

The programmes of activities which SYA provide to young people are:

  • Youth club sessions
  • Sport facilities
  • Educational programmes and training
  • Day trips and residential

Shadow Youth Alliance is a dynamic community-based organisation working with young people from the Bethnal Green North Ward.

Since its establishment SYA has been working to meet the local demands for young people in the area. The young people in the local area continue to face disadvantages by the lack of local opportunities and activities available to them. They still remain detached from many of the mainstream opportunities in education, training and employment. The area suffers from serious lack of youth provision as well as a rise in gang and territorial violence, drug abuse and crime.

Many of the young people SYA has been working with are deprived and disadvantaged. To help prevent these young people becoming like this we provided:

  • Activities and facilities for social education and sports
  • Worked with community and other organisations to develop youth provisions in the area
  • Encourage, motivate and enable young people to develop skills and abilities to their full potential
  • Divert those who have become involved in negative activity such as crime, vandalism and gang territorial violence
  • Encourage young people to take education seriously
  • Train young people physically and keep them healthy through sports
  • Break down territorial and cultural barriers