About Us

The core philosophy of Uptown is to provide mentoring to the youths

providing them with positive role models and helping them to ‘see another way’ and make better life choices.

Uptown, which has been operating within Merton for over 20 years, provides support to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds aged 11-17, or up to 25 for those with disabilities plus a separate group for younger children.   

Access to Uptown is open, but many have been referred by social services (youth offending, key workers from local schools and children in care) due to their involvement in gang activity, crime and drugs. 

The core philosophy of Uptown is to provide mentoring to the young people – providing them with positive role models and helping them to ‘see another way’ and make better life choices. 

Sessions are delivered by Joan Simms, the CEO of Uptown Youth Services, supported by two or three qualified youth workers and/or volunteers.  Highly experienced, and well respected locally, Joan has been the driving force throughout Uptown’s history. 

During the Covid Pandemic, Uptown was unable to operate in its normal format and moved to online ‘chill n chat’ rooms.  We also undertook outreach intervention work in the local parks, including Covid Secure group meeting sessions, and continued this through the 2020 summer holidays but have now moved back to the in person youth groups.

Many of Uptown’s young people, particularly those from BAME communities, have been seriously impacted by Covid 19 – including many family deaths. Supporting them and their families, and operating through this period, has offered vital support. 

Life Skills

Provision includes workshops covering areas such as budgeting, health, cooking, substance misuse, alcohol, domestic violence, mental health, bullying and anger management. Our Red Cross First Aid training is tailored to specific issues such as knife crime

Social Activities

Within a fully inclusive youth club environment Uptown provides a safe venue to get young people off the streets and develop their social skills, meet with friends (and make new ones), play pool and partake in activities such as music, dance and drama, sports, and arts and craft.

Mentoring

Youths who are having difficulty at school are supported through one-to-one mentoring to support their individual attendance or issues they are having with behaviour, bullying, and home and social life. Year 11’s is tracked to make sure they have secured education, training or employment placements, and the younger children, (years 6 and 7) are supported and peer mentored through their transition into secondary school

Any questions?

Contact us now!