About the Space

The Safe Space Project

About the Space section

‘About the Space‘ is a pioneering idea developed by YHNE to fight youth isolation in the North East. The aim of this project is to provide young vulnerable people between 14 and 25 years old with a safe ‘space’ where they feel confident and comfortable. 

During our fortnightly Youth Hubs in Newcastle and Middlesbrough, young people and architects from SBA AKA Architects worked together to help those who feel lonely. This pioneering idea was funded by  the Co-Op Foundation and Her Majesty´s Government to fight youth isolation in the region. 

Connecting with others

When facing different issues such as homelessness, many young vulnerable people experience loneliness and isolation. One of the main ideas behind this project was to encourage young people to fight that isolation by making new friends and connections during the Hubs. 

For many young people these sessions had been very helpful with their own isolation:

‘I have enjoyed meeting the designers and creating all these ideas. I think this is what everyone really wants. Having the opportunity to build a safe space that is going to be useful for others’, Jack, young person.

‘This is our safe space where we can be together and share our ideas. It helps us because we can meet new people with different stories and help each other with our own issues‘, Rhyss, young person.

Sharing a unique experience 

During the length of this project (January-March) young people wrote a blog online and produced a video about their journey. Read here the posts of young people during the project. 

The video showed their journey when creating this space as well as the original designs during the Youth Hubs. This video will be available on the website very shortly. 

For many young vulnerable people, writing this blog was an incredible experience. They highlighted the positive outcomes of this idea to help them with their own isolation. 

During the following months, YHNE and young people will use the content of this blog to help those who feel lonely in the North East through our Youth Hubs. 

Welcome our safe space!

On the 27th of March 2019, young people and architects unveiled their safe space in an event hosted on 27 March at the Eagles Stadium. The Eagles Stadium was the perfect scenario to make public a safe space where everyone feels welcome.

‘This space is absolutely amazing. Just seating under the umbrellas and with all these colours around make you feel like home’, Kyle, young person.

‘I really like the design. It is something that you can bring with you anywhere and where you feel protected. I cannot wait to use it again!’, Vicki, young person.

Please click here to see a video evaluation of the space.

Sharon Brown, director of YHNE, said ‘this space is absolutely brilliant. We will be using this safe space for young people during our Youth Hubs in Newcastle and Middlesbrough to offer any young person a space where they feel welcome and comfortable

Inspiring words

About the Space event at the Eagles Stadium

The event was a great opportunity to have an amazing day with young people with a lot of games, quiz, and group activities. As part of our programme for that day, Fabulous Flournoy, coach of the Newcastle Eagles, gave an incredible and inspiring speech about his life for young people. 

‘Fab’ shared with many young people his issues and all challenges he faced to become one of the best basketball players in the UK. We are delighted to say that many young people really enjoyed and were inspired by his words.

‘After listening to Fab, I feel that I am capable of doing anything in my life. No matter how difficult it would be, I just need to continue fighting’, Daniel, young person.

What’s next?

Finally, after finishing this first design, architects will continue working to create the final ‘safe space’.

In our next Youth Hubs, young people will raise awareness and develop this design to help those affected by loneliness. Our aim is that every young person in the future would be able to create their own comfortable space.

Video to be uploaded soon. 

Read the Office for National Statistics, Ellie Osborne’s blog on how loneliness is affecting our young people today.

About the Space January 25, 2019


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