The King and The Queen Consort met staff and young people using the services provided at Project Zero Walthamstow, which is dedicated to engaging young people in positive activities, promoting social inclusion and strengthening community cohesion
Their Majesties learnt about the meaningful work Project Zero are doing for the members of their local community by meeting staff delivering some of the many programmes on offer, from coding and music production, to performing arts and mental health support services.
Their Majesties were taken on a tour of the facilities by founder Stephen Barnabis and Youth Champion Rico Thai-Richards. Stephen invited The Queen Consort to visit when he met her at the Platinum Jubilee Big Lunch earlier this year. He had been invited as a Platinum Jubilee Champion for services to his community.
They also spoke to some of the delivery partners who are supporting with programmes outside the Walthamstow HQ, including Waltham Forest College, The Prince’s Trust and Leyton Orient Football Club.
In July 2022, Project Zero launched an anti-knife campaign with a difference. Rather than focusing on the dangers and risks of carrying knifes, Project Zero focus on the dreams, goals and ambitions of their young people and what they can do.
Project Zero focus on the dreams, goals and ambitions of their young people and what they can do
Stephen Barnabis founded Project Zero in 2019 after losing two young family members to violent crime. He has been working in the field of Youth Engagement for over 30 years, including in the United States, with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in Boston and gangs in Los Angeles.
Project Zero’s activities and programmes falls under three umbrellas: engagement, inclusion, and employment. Young people are engaged in positive activities through their weekly youth club, events, workshops, and holiday programmes. The organisation engages with young people considered to be at risk or from disadvantaged backgrounds, including involvement with gangs, sexual exploitation and exclusion from school. Project Zero also supports young people with further education or apprenticeship programmes, with the ultimate aim being to get them into long-term employment.