I just wanted to drop you a line to thank you so much for the free tickets you provided for the Tower Bridge Exhibition to our cohort of urban west London youngsters on Monday 22nd Oct. We had a truly fantastic day in and around London, using all its wonderful modes of transport and enjoying the sights and sounds of the city. The cherry on the icing on the cake though was undoubtedly Tower Bridge.
The young people had no idea we were going into the bridge when we disembarked from the Thames clipper and headed that way, only the youth workers knew what we were doing. I actually thought it was a disaster of bad timing when the bridge opened to let a Dutch military vessel through while we were outside the Tower of London but the children were in awe and just stood there watching.
Then when we were walking along the bridge and stopped at the entrance, they were dumbstruck when we told them we were going up and that moment was made even better when they realised that we actually had fast track tickets ready for them. The children felt like VIP’s which made for the most amazing experience I've ever felt as a youth worker. And when the bridge opened again whilst we were inside it was just perfect, like you planned it just for them.
I won’t bore you with the realities of some of the situations that this particular group of youngsters face on a daily basis due to socio-economic challenges, knife crime and the threat of post code violence, but I will say that you and the rest of the staff at the bridge really helped make an impact. The kids were phoning their parents, carers, and friends immediately after walking on the glass floor and telling them what a great time they were having and how brave they were. It was completely awesome.
I’m not sure how many like requests you get periodically but I think most of London's young people in similar situations to the ones we - at London Sports Trust, and Sands End Youth Club - deal with on a daily basis, would definitely benefit from the experience you offer. So really, congratulations to you guys for taking into account our charity status and providing a positive, lasting experience for some young people who really need more of them.
On behalf of the young people, the youth workers and myself, thanks once again for helping us out for free. Hopefully one day in the future we’ll be able to do it again and inspire more challenged - and challenging - young people, and encourage them to put aside their fears and take a small leap of faith so they can really see the often invisible potential they have at their feet growing up in London.
I'll make sure to send some photos when I can collate them.
Head Youth Worker
London Sports Trust