New Education and Community Centre Planned with £1.5M Philanthropic Support

Philanthropic Support
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More than £1.5 million has been raised to establish a new education and community space, providing children and young people in Westfield with fair access to new opportunities. Sanderson House in Westfield has been renovated and renamed “The Place,” thanks to philanthropic support from individuals and companies such as Aviva, Hiscox, Persimmon, and Portakabin.

After consulting with several schools and many families in the area to understand their challenges, the centre team co-created learning programs to help young people achieve their goals and future ambitions.

Work is now set to begin on the centre’s garden to create an area for outdoor activities, nature-connectedness, and relaxation. Representatives from Aviva and Persimmon have been actively involved in the garden improvement project, exemplifying the employee volunteering opportunities available at the centre.

The team is also launching the next phase of the fundraising campaign to secure the centre’s long-term future, providing even more young people and their families the opportunity to benefit from its programs. Corporate donors will support the centre by co-creating programs that help children and young people in the area develop professional skills and offer guidance on routes into employment.

The centre, run by the University of York in collaboration with Westfield Primary Community School and York High School, is open Monday through Friday, 50 weeks a year.
It offers a range of free activities, including study and play sessions, as well as dedicated support for adults in the community.

David Schofield, Sustainability Director at Aviva, said: “Aviva is a proud supporter of The Place, a fantastic initiative designed to help Westfield’s young people access the support they need to prepare for their futures. We are designing a program aimed at strengthening employment skills and will collaborate closely with the local community to improve educational and social results for future generations.”

The centre will soon announce its summer holiday program, which will include collaborations with York Theatre Royal, Yorkshire Museums Trust, and the Head Gardener at Museum Gardens for a series of cultural events and activities. Additionally, ‘lunch labs’ will teach cooking skills and the impact of different foods on our bodies.

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