Design ‘N’ Do – engaging creatively with young people

10 AUG 2020

An Allchurches’ Growing Lives grant of £7,700 is supporting the development of a youth space for children and young people in Glasgow

New Team is a Christian youth work charity, working alongside young people who hang out on the streets of Govan. They aim to support the social, emotional and spiritual development of the young people they meet, by building friendships and organising fun youth trips.
 
The areas that New Team target are among the 5% most deprived in the ‘Scottish Government’s Index of Multiple Deprivation’ and a lot of the young people they work with aren’t in education, employment or training.
 
Over the last few years, it has become increasingly difficult for New Team to make youth work arrangements, without an office space for the youth workers and a place where young people can reach the team. With this in mind, the charity has found a space and are in the process of converting a rented shop into their new HQ!
 
Allchurches’ funding will help to kit it out, with a new kitchen for cooking and eating based youth work activities – often the young people New Team work with don’t experience a family meal around the table or learn about healthy eating or cooking skills. Our funding will also help to purchase technical equipment, such as a TV for movie nights and entertainment, and games consoles, laptops and tablets to make it a really welcoming space for children and young people who don’t have these luxuries at home.
 
Having this exciting, new space will allow New Team to develop their projects and engage with groups of young people who are most in need from an early age, and help them to grow with a network of support.
 
Youth Space Progress
 
As with many other organisations, lockdown put a temporary spanner in the works! New Team were on the cusp of signing their lease for the new space at the end of March and then things were put on hold. They are hoping to start refurbishment in the next few months and work with a young person to design the space so it is relevant and comfortable for people of that age group.
 
They have been working this particular young person for years, getting to know her better through trips, regular conversation and some bible study sessions. She has a really clear idea about how the space should look and function.
 
Youth Work
 
Allchurches’ support goes further than the development of the new building; as the funding will also increase their youth work provision and trips.
 
Lockdown has been difficult for the team in terms of connecting with young people, as restrictions have meant they are seeing less young people on the streets. However, the team has been using their time to update their website and connect with children online – even putting up posters in local shops to let young people know they are here and still thinking of them.
 
Louise McMorris, Project Leader for New Team, said: “We have wanted to support our local community as best we can, so we recently started helping another youth work charity, who are distributing food to families in need, by sending our youth workers to assist them once a week. This feels like the best way for us to be contributing to food distribution and adapting to these unusual times. 
 
“Our team will also be working alongside young people who are volunteering, so it is a good way to continue relationship building while serving the community.”

Andrew Bass, Grants Officer for Allchurches Trust, said: “We cannot wait to see the new youth space and the positive impact it will have on vulnerable young people in the Govan area. Although lockdown has been a difficult time for both New Team and the young people they support, the new centre will allow them to bond again and continue to grow really valuable relationships.”
 
Learn more about designing the perfect youth space here, in an insightful blog from the charity Youthscape.
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