Our founding members – local teenagers and young adults– were brought together by tensions surrounding their local football pitch and play area. Groups of young people would meet at night to drink, play loud music, and graffiti the walls. Strained relationships between White and Asian youths led to open conflict. Local residents’ concerns over the vandalism and anti-social behaviour were heightened after they discovered weapons hidden in the play area.
Every week members met in the play area to clean it up and build relations between local young people and residents. Eventually the area returned to a place where children could play.
The group’s next action was to organise a community football tournament bringing together players from local businesses, residents, and young people. On the first day of the tournament in July 1997 they launched themselves formally as a youth agency.
To find out more about FYA’s history and how we started, watch the video below from our 18th birthday Fitzrovia Street Party and Community Dinner.