Rathbone Society
Rathbone's mission is to support young people including those with SEND and adults with SEND by Promoting independence and life skills Creating opportunities and widening horizons Challenging discrimination and inclusive work

Rathbone Society was established in 1967 as an adult social care charity and has been supporting adults with learning disabilities. 

In 2013 Rathbone took over the runninf of a Youth Centre from LAmbeth Council. Our youth centre is based at The Old Library on Knights Hill West Norwood. Our youth cengtre runs inclusive activities for m young people aged  11-19 and 11-25 for those with learning disabilities. Our youth club is open three evenings term time on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. In September 2021, Rathbone opened a second youth club on Central Hill Estate and has been running activities for young people in Gipsy Hill area. Our youth club in Central Hill is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 

During school holidays, Rathbone youth centre runs holiday activities including trips and residentials.

In 2019, Rathbone youth centre launched our Inspiring Learning Project in collaboration with local secondary schools to support local young people from disadvantaged backgrounds with their education. The project supports young people aged 11-16 with homework support and GCSE revisions.


Rathbone's work has two strands:


Adult Social Care - Rathbone works to support adults with learning disabilities. This work ensures adults with learning disabilities in our local community are supported to live safe, happy, healthy, and fulfilled lives. The work ensures they are provided with support in personal care, their finances, health and leisure.


Youth Work - Rathbone runs youth activities in Knights Hill (West Norwood) and Central Hill estate (Gipsy Hill) for young people aged 11-19, or up to 25 for young people with learning disabilities. The youth club, based at The Old Library in Knights Hill, is open three evenings term time on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 5-9pm. Tuesdays and Thursday evenings, we run mixed provision for mainstream young people and young people with SEND. 


During half term and summer holidays, we run holiday activities and educational trips.


Rathbone youth centre also supports the more vulnerable young people and their families with essential food and household supplies. This work started during the pandemic and has become an embeded service since then and is a lifeline for many families struggling to make ends meet.


Rathbone Youth Centre also runs Inspiring Learning Project to support our young people who are struggling with their education. In Lambeth there continues to be a wide gap in attainment between those who have a free school meal and those who pay. Black Caribbean pupils are the lowest attaining of the major ethnic groups in the borough. Portuguese speaking pupils (a group with relatively high percentage in the borough) had amongst the lowest levels of attainment, consistently below the Lambeth average, for KS1 and KS2, and GCSE. A significant number of children and young people in Lambeth are from refugee and asylum-seeking families. In the last two years, the pandemic has further exacerbated this gap and inequality. Digital poverty has been a big barrier to young people’s access to and full participation in education.

Provide quality adult and youth service
Trust - to build a trusting relationship with service users and co-produce our services and provision
Rathbone is proud of having a track record of providing an outstanding social care service to adults with learning disabilities for over 50 years and of providing quality youth service for nine 9 yearsl, and working collaboratively with other community organisations and local authority to provide a holistic and timely service to the most vulnerable in our society.
  • Ability to build rapport with children and young people;
  • A desire to stretch the expectations and achievements of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds;
  • Reliability and commitment;
  • A friendly, helpful, anti-discriminatory and enthusiastic approach.

While the number of youth clubs in the country have been decimated in the last 10 years. Rathbone has continued to provide a lifeline for disadvantaged youth in the community providing quality youth work.