Co-founder and CEO of Regenerate, Andy Smith, was becoming all too familiar with the negative impact that drug abuse, violence, poverty and alcoholism were having on the local area, the elderly residents and the social landscape of the estate. The youth were falling into destructive, anti-social behaviour and getting involved with harmful and illegal substances. As a direct result of this, the elderly residents found themselves too scared to leave their homes, often leaving them feeling isolated and lonely.
Andy recognised the need for change to remove this culture of fear on the estate, and so began a lunch club for the older community, giving them a sense of belonging and encouraging them to build friendships and confidence within the community. The lunch club quickly became a huge success, and after a few weeks, it had gained over 100 regulars.
Andy’s vision is to see the estate and local area thrive by empowering and motivating young people, who he believes, have the power to shape the future of the estate, as well as the wider community. This is why Regenerate was founded, a charity designed to inspire young people through mentoring, educational trips, clubs and community-based activities, helping to build confidence, future aspirations and positive relationships, striving to not only make the young people feel safer, but to also be safer.
In 2014, Regenerate launched its first social enterprise, The Feel Good Bakery, in Battersea. It is run solely by young people, providing them with first-time employment opportunities, and since launching, the bakery has raised an incredible £280,000 to support children in deprived parts of Romania and Kenya. It has become well-known for serving delicious hot treats, including muffins, pastries and warm beverages – what could be sweeter?!
Over the past twenty-three years, Regenerate has gone from strength to strength, and it is now solely run by Andy and Claire Smith, who are continuing to turn lives around by providing employable and transferable skills to young people. Regenerate also encourages young people to take part in ambitious sport-based fundraising events (you can read about one of their many incredible fundraisers here), so far raising thousands of pounds for much-needed causes.
To read more about Regenerate and the incredible work Andy and Claire do, please visit their website here. Alternatively, please contact us for more information as to how we support their causes.