February 4, 2019
It’s a shocking statistic but one in three young people are lonely. As a result, charity Youth Homeless North East (YHNE), launched a new project to combat youth loneliness in the North East in January, supported by Newcastle-based Sadler Brown Architecture.
About the Space is a pioneering project for young people aged between 14 and 25 years old, who have been or are at risk of becoming homeless. The project aims to create spaces where young people can connect with others, feel supported, take part in activities and learning, and have access to information they need.
Running between January and the end of March, activities will take place at weekly Youth Hub sessions in Newcastle and Middlesbrough, where young people will explore their own experiences to inform a space to combat loneliness and isolation.
The Youth Hubs will provide a safe place where young people can share their experiences, fears and hopes.
Young people will work with the YHNE youth work team and designers from sponsors Sadler Brown Architecture, to create a portable, pop-upspace that can be used in different settings toreach as many young people as possible.
Throughout the project, young people will contribute to a live blog to share their progress. The blog will appear on YHNE’s website and will be shared through social media to showcase young people’s achievements.
Progress of the project will also be captured by video with young people holding the camera. The ‘space’ and information created by young people will provide essential resources for others who areaffected by loneliness.
This project will also be fun. It will be a great opportunity for young people across the region to create new friendships and connections while helping others.
Sharon Brown, director of YHNE, said: ‘We know that many young people who experience homelessness suffer poor mental health related to feeling completely alone and without family networks or good social and supportive relationships. This project is a great opportunity for young people across the region to work together to address their own loneliness through new friendships and connections and to provide a space that will be available to far more young people struggling with feelings of isolation and loneliness in the future.’
About the Space is funded by the Cooperative Foundation in partnership with Her Majesty’s Government as part of a national programme
to beat loneliness through co-operative action. The project is enhanced by the involvement of architects David Davies and Paddy Lyth of Sadler Brown.
Sharon adds: ‘There is still much more to do beyond the life of this project. We desperately need funds to enable us to employ youth workers to continue our work through the Youth Hubs.’