Chicken Shop Date star Amelia Dimoldenberg cries foul over youth cuts
Youtube sensation launches petition to save The Stowe Centre
17 February, 2017 — By Alina Polianskaya
Amelia Dimoldenberg in one of her Chicken Shop Date films
A STAR of a hit YouTube show based in a chicken shop has spoken out about how a threatened Harrow Road youth centre was the launchpad to her success.
Chicken Shop Date, a humorous online series where Amelia Dimoldenberg interviews musicians over a romantic plate of fried food at a takeaway, regularly racks up hundreds of thousands of views.
But it all began as a comedic column in a youth magazine at The Stowe Centre, which is struggling to survive after having its council funding cut.
“The Stowe Centre has given me the basis for all the opportunity I have today so it is a really important place for me,” said Ms Dimoldenberg, who is a student at Central Saint Martins. “I first started going there when I was 17. My teacher sent through an email saying there would be a youth mag called The Cut, which was going to be based at that youth centre. I was interested in journalism and creative media so this seemed like such a great opportunity. I went down there and had such a great experience and met friends I am still working with today.”
She added: “It is such a shame that the The Stowe is under threat from Conservative cuts. It could take away a place where a magazine like The Cut could have a home.”
Ms Dimoldenberg with fellow YouTube star Elijah Quashie
The 23-year-old has launched a petition calling for funding to be returned to the centre, which said: “The Stowe Centre is a vital facility in Westbourne ward and is a place where historically young people from the Warwick, Brindley and Amberley estates and beyond have come for many years to get a break from tough home lives, to take part in activities or just simply have some space.”
She added: “It was once the home to the one of London’s most famous youth football training grounds, known for producing stars like 1980s Liverpool legend John Barnes. So as from April 1 the Stowe Centre will only be able to provide a replacement one night a week session for 11- to 19-year-olds. This will be nothing near to what used to be provided and is a massive blow to the community and life choices of the young people in the area.”
Westminster Council stopped funding all the borough’s youth services last September, and The Stowe is one of many now feeling the effects of the cuts.
Ms Dimoldenberg, who is the daughter of Labour councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, added: “I found it really hard to understand why people think that this is a necessary cut as it is so important for young people to have a good start in life.”
Cllr Richard Holloway, cabinet member for children, families and young people, said: “Our priority is to protect the most vulnerable in our society, including young people. As we deal with shrinking budgets we are looking at new and creative ways to maximise our resources. It is worth noting that funding for youth clubs across Westminster already comes from many different sources outside of the council.”
He added: “We have had to take some difficult decisions on youth clubs, but the Young Westminster Foundation will allow us to raise funds in new ways. “This exciting new charity will make sure that youth organisations get greater access to a sustainable pool of funding for the future.”
Hen party Dates clash over Valentine’s meal
ON Valentine’s Day, Chicken Shop Date star Amelia Dimoldenberg had a special romantic rendezvous, with fellow YouTube sensation, The Chicken Connoisseur.
The two online video stars clashed over a plate of fried food as the star of The Pengest Munch seemed more interested in his oversized fillet burger than his date. Meanwhile Ms Dimoldenberg tried to ramp up the romance with candles and some heart-shaped confetti.
But when asked if he was single, chicken fan Elijah Quashie said he was “engaged with the meal”.
The fellow chicken shop enthusiast is the latest to feature in Ms Dimoldenberg’s humorous dating series, with past episodes featuring the likes of Jammer from influential grime group Boy Better Know as well as singer Fuse ODG and Game of Thrones star Raleigh Ritchie.