Rugby Portobello Trust provides young people with strong foundations to navigate life

Rugby Portobello Trust is a children’s youth and family support charity that has been in existence since 1889. Based in North Kensington, they serve a population diverse in every way. They provide a range of activities to help the youngest members of their community build confidence, expand their horizons and realise their potential.

How we work together 

Rugby Portobello Trust partners with West London Zone in two flagship services; Project Athena, a girl's and young women’s group, and Mancave, a boy’s and young men’s group. These sessions take place weekly in their building and in both primary and secondary schools, delivering one-to-one and small group sessions that focus on managing emotions, behaviour and relationships. 

What is so important about their work 

Project Athena is a girls-only night for young women aged 10-16 to help them navigate the difficult transition between primary and secondary school – as well as the complexities of girl and womanhood. These sessions offer young women opportunities to acquire technical or practical skills and provide space for them to voice their opinions without fear of being judged or ridiculed. Individual sessions include a wide range of activities from fencing, self-defence, football and cookery to make-up, hygiene talks and off-site trips. Project Athena enables young women to recognise their self-worth so they can confidently decide how to shape their futures.

They also provide spaces for young men aged 15-21 through their programme, Man Cave. In these sessions, attendees take turns preparing meals for each other while having facilitated discussions on topics relevant to them, including defining mental health, developing positive fitness habits, identifying toxic masculinity and the benefits of positive affirmations. 

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Plans for the future

Rugby Portobello Trust is actively exploring options to open a music studio on Thursday evenings for the young men who attend Man Cave. This is with the hope that they will continue to build self-expression, develop new skills and broaden the base of young men interested in attending. 

“We know that investing in preventative work with children is the best investment we can make for our society. This is why our work focuses on giving every child who walks through our doors a strong foundation centred on three core areas: relationships, skills, and wellbeing. We don’t offer a quick fix, our work is long term, the  support is a wraparound, and the path is never a straight line.” Mark Simms, CEO of Rugby Portobello Trust

You can find out more about Rugby Portobello Trust and get involved in their programmes here 

together, every child and young person can flourish.