Novartis UK supports Horizon Youth Zone

Novartis UK has pledged their support for Horizon Youth Zone.

The company will provide financial support to the Youth Zone and Novartis’ employees will each be allocated eight hours a year to volunteer within the Youth Zone once open.

Support from Novartis’ Grimsby site has already begun, as Kevin Childs started volunteering for Horizon Youth Zone whilst working at Novartis Grimsby, and remains a keen contributor and volunteer since retiring. Kevin has been volunteering with the Young People’s Development Group (YPDG) which is a group of young people brought together to help with the development of the Youth Zone during pre-opening. Find out more about what the group get up to here.

Kevin said: “Volunteering with Horizon Youth Zone’s YPDG over the last two and a half years has been an amazing journey.  I have worked with some amazing young people, who have grown with confidence and skills even through COVID restrictions. They are able to stand up in front of local business leaders telling them what Horizon will give to the area and hold their own in Q&A sessions, as well as enjoying new sports and activities.  For me I have never had so much fun and have learnt so much about the skills needed in Youth Work and working with children and young people, the buzz is there every week.” 

Novartis presented another opportunity for Grimsby’s young people recently as Izzy Russell, previous Horizon YPDG member, now trainee Youth Worker at OnSide, was invited to attend and speak at Novartis’ Community Partnership Day. Izzy addressed Novartis’ staff before taking part in a recorded interview with Novartis UK’s Country President, Chinmay Bhatt. During the interview Izzy opened up about her life, her experiences with Horizon Youth Zone and how the opportunities she has been given have changed her life, giving Novartis staff an invaluable insight into the potential impact of the Youth Zones they will be supporting. You can hear Izzy’s interview here.

Novartis has been in Grimsby for 70 years and, with their site set to close, they were keen to leave a legacy, providing opportunities for young people for generations to come.

Ian Johnson, Site Head, Novartis Grimsby said: “Novartis Grimsby are proud to be involved with OnSide, and specifically the Grimsby Horizon Youth Zone. Our site has long-established education links in the town and local area, with a passion to encourage children into the pharmaceutical industry.  Equally important is their personal development which we have supported through careers guidance, mentoring and work experience opportunities. Youth Zones across the country mirror these goals, offering children and young people from challenged backgrounds the opportunities, support and fantastic recreational facilities to achieve their potential in a supported and safe environment. They are staffed by skilled and dedicated youth workers who truly believe in young people.

We are delighted that our UK Division were able to give financial support to both the Horizon project in Grimsby, and a Youth Zone currently under construction near to their London offices. 

Supporting the new Youth Zone set to be built in Grimsby presented a prime opportunity to do this, as the facilities and support available will transform the lives of thousands of young people living in Grimsby.”