Regenerate is a youth charity established to work with young people who live on housing estates in Roehampton and Putney and surrounding areas. Regenerate inspires and supports young people by building strong, lasting relationships and creating life-changing opportunities; helping them grow in confidence, make the best of their lives and impact the world for good.
Andy Smith Co-Founders Story
I moved onto the Alton estate in 1996 with a group of friends. The estate is huge. One of the biggest housing estates in Europe.
Not long after living on the estate and becoming friends with people in the area through a football team a few of us were involved with, I began to see and hear about some of the negative things that went on in the community where we lived.
I heard about older people that had not been out of their homes for over 20 years and were living in isolation and fear. I saw kids riding stolen mopeds around the estate, cars and houses getting burnt out, drugs available all over the place and people getting robbed on the street.
My friends and I began to dream, pray and scheme about what we could do to make a difference in the area. It started small, with a desire to see a change in our community, a few prayers, good friends and ideas.
In January 2000, we formed Regenerate, a Christian faith-based charity. We started it with my Mum, Mo. She helped manage the finances and administration and myself and a group of friends started setting up and running projects that would serve the community.
The work began by organising a lunch club for the older people in the area. We rented a church hall and employed a cook and within a few weeks, we had 100 regular members. Older people that had been isolated beforehand.
We then started developing projects for young people and children, such as, football clubs, dance and homework clubs, minibus trips out of London, a Juice Bar drop-in youth centre, a music studio, mentoring schemes and trips for young people to volunteer in developing countries.
Over the years we have also been taking what has begun in Roehampton to many other estates around South West London by using our Double-decker bus (a mobile youth centre) and have helped others to initiate projects in their own communities.
In 2006 Regenerate RISE was established as a separate charity to focus on developing the work with the elderly.
Today Regenerate continues to focus on the estates in and around Roehampton as well as helping and supporting others who are initiating similar projects on estates across London.
How Regenerate Works
At Regenerate we live inside the community and alongside the people we support.
We get to know individuals and help them uncover their potential and nurture their hopes for the future.
We know that this will be different for each and every person. A passion for music, sport, a desire to work, to be a good parent…
We stick by people for as long as it takes. Give encouragement and practical support to achieve their goals and transform their lives beyond their circumstance.
We believe in the potential that lies within every individual to change their lives and in doing so the lives of those around them.
And it’s infectious. Positive, personal transformation brings hope to all those around you, which builds communities from the inside out.
Regenerate; transformation from the inside out.