In this guest post from our Bronze Membership+ Supporter Youth Homeless North East, Kevin Gonzalez Perez introduces their new project about youth loneliness.
What is the best way to build a safe space for those who feel lonely? Simple, bring together young people and architects. Their imagination will do the rest.
Is that all? Some pens and paper will also help, and don’t forget pizza!
Group of young people and architects designing a safe space (YHNE)
For the second time, young people across the region and architects from SBA AKA have met in our youth hubs to design ‘their safe space’. These sessions are part of the pioneering project ‘About the Space’ conducted by YHNE to fight against youth loneliness and isolation.
For two hours our youth hub became in an architectural studio. Professionals and young people had a brainstorming session about the future design of this safe space to help those who feel lonely.
The architects said
"we have had a wonderful time with all young people. Moreover, they have brought very interesting ideas not only about the design but also the materials. This safe space is going to be something unique and special for everyone. Just imagining having everything you like and need in a portable house!"
What do young people think about this safe space?
For many of them, ‘About the Space’ is also an opportunity to inspire and help others who feel alone.
"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.
Apart from building a safe space, these sessions are also about helping each other. Young people like Rhyss said that meeting new people is helping him with his own loneliness.
"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.
Every week, young people are producing a video blog about the sessions. The video shows a summary of the process of #oursafespace and why these sessions are useful for them.
After only two workshops, the response of partners and young people have been extremely positive. Many young people and youth workers in the North East have attended our workshops to create this safe space.
We are delighted to say that our last youth hub at MEA House in Newcastle was completely full. Next time two rooms won’t be enough!
At YHNE we want to thank all young people, youth workers, and the architects from SBA AKA for coming to the event. Their great input and work make ‘About the Space’ possible.
Next youth hub
Our next youth hub will be on the 13th of February in Middlesbrough. We encourage all partners and young people in the area to come and continue this project.
How can I take part?
Young people between 14-25 years old can get in touch with us at email@example.com or on our social media channels.
If your organisation works with this age group and with young people at risk of homelessness, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0191 255 1911.
We are looking forward to seeing you!
Kevin Gonzalez Perez
Communications Officer and Administrator