Central London Youth Development began in 1996 by a collection of young people in the Church Street area of Westminster. At first, we prioritised supporting vulnerable young people whose circumstances and experiences acted as barriers to participation in social and economical activities. We sought and we continue to seek projects for young people, managed by young people, but have also come to realise that the difficulties facing young people are difficulties faced by the larger community.

Almost 25 years into our work, CLYD continues to pursue the strengths and skills of our local areas, enhancing and empowering talented groups from across London. Not only do we spot local skills, but we give people platforms and celebrate our thriving community. We help people to take control of their own circumstances with skills, training and guidance, while also connecting and supporting people to pursue their own projects, co-produced with members of the community in order to meaningfully tackle disadvantage, inequality and institutional neglect while recognising the skills, power and influence that we do have.


Abdul Aziz Toki

Director of CLYD

Our aims and objectives

  • To represent the means for members of our community through which they may take part in and influence processes, decisions and activities in order to achieve justice, influence outcomes, expose abuses of power and realise their rights.

  • To challenge traditional attitudes towards our community and to engage them in strengthening participatory democracy.

  • To promote the welfare of our community, making and supporting a call to listen to them and work with them to increase their aspirations.

Our strategy

We consult members of our community who are in many ways left out from statutory service provisions and who are identified as hard to reach groups. In particular, we work with minority ethnic people who find themselves educationally, socially or economically disadvantaged in their communities.

  • We are a specific task-based organisation and directly involved with promoting social behaviour, increasing aspiration and ensuring youth participation.

  • We work with those who have been rejected from traditional building-based recreational activities.

  • We support members of our community to contribute meaningfully in supporting and developing the world around them.

  • We recognise our community as a body of experience and knowledge specially positioned to support and understand themselves best.

  • We consult, value and explore community views and ideas in all of our projects.

  • We recognise that members of our community are the social actors with skills and capacities to bring about constructive resolutions to their own problems.


  • We give our community a leading voice in shaping the direction of the organisation.

  • We value them as an integral part of our management and engage them in our decision making processes.