GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY SKILLS AND DEVELOPMENT. (GOSAD) formerly known as Golden Opportunity Youth Association (GOYA) is a charitable organisation based in the London Borough of Ealing and was founded in 2003 by a group of disaffected young people, who felt let down by the lack of appropriate services and interventions for young people in the Southall area of the borough. The three young people who decided to set up the organisation came from three different backgrounds in terms of ethnicity (Irish, Sikh and Somali). In addition to their bonding friendship, they all shared the same social-economic disadvantages that included not having the best starts in life.
In 2003, there were hardly any youth-led organisations in the borough and those organisations that had youth programmes seemed to operate in a ‘top down’ manner i.e. tendency to dictate what they thought was best for young people without consulting their views and aspirations. Since its inception, GOYA has ensured young people’s involvement in everything the organisations did, from sitting on the committee board to helping manage and run projects. GOYA’s commitment to the ethos of youth involvement has resulted in the organisation being part of the government’s Participation Works (initiative to empower organisation to involve and get the best from young people) initiative and holds the Matrix accreditation quality mark.
From 2006, GOYA started working with adults who mostly represented the socio-economic characteristics and issues faced by the young people the organisation was working. This transition was engineered in not only trying to meet the need of these adults, but the result of running projects for young people and their parents/carers.