OUR History

In 2009 The Rugby Portobello Trust (RPT) merged with the national charity People Potential Possibilities (P3), becoming part of the P3 Group.

The Rugby Portobello Trust (RPT) is the result of the 2003 merger of three organisations: The Rugby Clubs, Portobello Houseshare and The Portobello Trust, which were all providing a range of services to young people in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Each of the three services was different: The Rugby Clubs was a youth club, The Portobello Trust provided education and training for young people and Portobello Houseshare provided housing. By joining up the three services, a one-stop-shop was set up for young people in the heart of an area identified as having the highest levels of income inequality in London.

The merger of the three organisations was instigated by our Co-Founder Gill FitzHugh, who led on the merger, raised money for the rebuilding of the Walmer Road Youth Centre and is now Chair of The Rugby Portobello Foundation. Gill was awarded the MBE for services to young people in North Kensington in 2000.

The Rugby Clubs, the oldest of the three partners, was founded by Old Rugbeian Arthur Walrond in 1884. It received the full support of Rugby School in 1889 when the Headmaster, Dr. Percival, decided that the school should undertake some social work in a major city. The Clubs' main premises have been in Walmer Road in West London. They were destroyed in the Second World War and subsequently rebuilt. The Rugby Clubs also acquired a holiday camp at St Mary's Bay in Kent. Following sale of the site at St Mary's Bay in 2016, the proceeds have been invested in a fund to provide holidays for young people in North Kensington, administered through the Rugby Portobello Trust Foundation.

The Portobello Trust was formed in 1986 at a time of very high unemployment for young people and initially its work was centred round finding young people employment and helping them set up in business on their own. Some of the Trust's important initiatives have included providing drugs education in local schools, setting up a teenage pregnancy advice service and developing a new approach to assisting young people who have been excluded from school.

Portobello Houseshare was set up to deal with the chronic shortage of accommodation for homeless young people and for young people coming out of care in the borough. It started in 1992 with one house, which provided bed spaces for 10 young people in Westbourne Park Road. In the intervening time, this has grown to 41 bed spaces, which are located in five different buildings and a further 36 in a series of local flats. Portobello Houseshare provides a mixture of housing management, care and support. The latter service is now offered under the Borough's Supporting People programme.

At the time of the merger, the building on Walmer Road was in serious need of refurbishment. Funds were raised by The Rugby Portobello Trust and the new organisation moved into the renovated building in 2005.

In June 2008 a decision was made to merge with P3, an organisation with national reach, in order to provide a service that was still local but which had all the benefits of a larger organisation, bringing massively reduced central costs and far more expertise.

P3 has its origins in Wolverhampton in 1972, founded in response to a homeless crisis in the Black Country, culminating in 1985 with the building of a hostel. Although primarily concerned with the homeless, in response to demand P3 moved into mental health, youth homelessness, youth services and help and advice.

In 2002 P3 was modernised after a Trustee review. New management was appointed and it changed its name to P3. It also expanded to the East Midlands, and through a series of mergers with other similar services- merging in 2003 with 2041 in West Drayton, Middlesex and in 2008 with the Kings Cross Homeless Project and the Kilburn Youth Centre in London and Unique Social Enterprise in Newark, and finally with the RPT in 2009. It came second in the Sunday Times Best Companies To Work For 2012.