Horizon Youth Zone appoints Chief Executive

Horizon Youth Zone is welcoming Lucy Ottewell as its new Chief Executive. 

Lucy becomes the charity’s first CEO and joins after nine years at Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education. 

Work is now underway on the development of Horizon Youth Zone, at Grimsby’s former West Haven Maltings and Migar House site. Set to open in Spring 2025, it will provide thousands of young people with opportunities to engage in activities and access support from skilled youth workers, helping them to develop their skills and reach their full potential. 

Lucy is a proud Grimbarian and has lived in Grimsby and Cleethorpes all her life, starting work at 15 on the seafront in Cleethorpes before she graduated in Business, Marketing and Tourism. A product of youth work, she attended Trin Youth Club and was an Army Cadet for several years.  

She worked for a private training provider for nine years, starting as a frontline advisor and finishing as the company’s national Head of Sales, before moving onto Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education. There she became Executive Director of Workforce Skills and Partnerships, and it was here where Lucy’s passion for supporting young people to achieve positive futures was really developed. Lucy also recently graduated with distinction with an Executive Masters Degree in Business Administration.   

“I am so proud, honoured and humbled to become the Chief Executive of this brilliant charity,” said Lucy. “I first heard about Horizon Youth Zone at an event around a year ago and when I saw the job advertised, I knew it was what I wanted to do”.  

“My passion has always been helping people, that’s why I get out of bed every day, and my career has led me towards supporting young people in particular. 

“I am a proud Grimbarian and the values that Horizon and OnSide have are my values; respect, ambition and young people first. I believe in this town, and I believe in the young people of this town.” 

She added: “Horizon will not only be an amazing resource with opportunities to access multiple and varied activities as well as youth worker support, but it should also become a hub for the community, stakeholders and partners. 

“I’m really excited about collaborating with the many brilliant organisations, schools and colleges that already do such incredible work for young people in Grimsby and seeing the Youth Zone become a place to bring lots of people together for young people’s benefit. 

“I remember how amazing the youth workers and cadet leaders I had were and I’m really excited to grow a fantastic team dedicated to supporting young people in the same way.” 

Horizon Youth Zone is being delivered by national charity OnSide, in partnership with North East Lincolnshire Council which is contributing towards the Youth Zone as part of the Greater Grimsby Town Deal. Other key supporters include Historic England, the Architectural Heritage Fund, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Ørsted, St. James’s Place Charitable Foundation, The Youth Investment Fund, Prax and private donors.  

The Youth Zone will be an independent charity with a private-sector led board, and once opened will be part of the OnSide Network of 14 Youth Zones nationwide, supporting over 50,000 young people annually. 

A local Young People’s Development Group has been helping make a number of key decisions for the Youth Zone. One of those roles is interviewing potential new staff members, including Lucy. 

Welcoming her into her position, they said: “It’s great that Lucy is a Grimbarian as she can relate to the local challenges that young people will be facing and is driven to make the Youth Zone a success. We’re happy that Lucy was successful as she is positive, energetic, and passionate about Grimsby and Cleethorpes and its young people.” 

Horizon Youth Zone Chair Jason Stockwood added: “I am delighted to welcome Lucy to the Horizon team. Lucy brings a wealth of experience, an in-depth understanding of the local area and most importantly, a true commitment to improving the lives of Grimsby’s young people. The Youth Zone will be in very safe hands and I am delighted we have now started building the team that will open the Youth Zone in 2025.” 

Prior to Horizon opening in Spring 2025, Lucy will spend time on various placements across the OnSide Network beginning at Manchester Youth Zone in Harpurhey. She will also grow her team ready for opening and recruitment will continue in Spring 2024.  

To stay up to date with the latest vacancies and project updates, go to: www.horizonyouthzone.org or follow Horizon on X (Twitter) @Horizon_yz.