By Rosie Kelly – 17 September 2019

This month we celebrated the opening of a brand new space at our Whitley Bay Resource Centre.

The refurbishment was funded by the Co-op Foundation’s Building Connections Fund Youth Strand, a partnership with government.

Young people using Depaul services led the project to create a space designed to help reduce loneliness and isolation, where people can come together to learn and socialise. This comfortable space will also be a place for Nightstop guests to wait while their placements are finalised.

A committee of ten young people were supported by staff to discuss how to decorate and equip the room as well as to lay down rules for those using it.

Using funds from the Cooperative Foundation, young people chose paint colours, new furniture, board games, laptops, games consoles, beanbags and cushions to create a bright and welcoming space.

Deborah Legg, Mental Health and Wellbeing Manager said: “The grant from The Co-op Foundation has enabled us to transform a room in our Resource Centre into a fantastic place where our young people can learn, socialise, and relax. The young people who planned the room refurbishment and painted the room did an amazing job and they are already loving hanging out in the space.”

Jim Cooke, Head of the Co-op Foundation said: “Spaces where young people can come together to enjoy shared interests are important for building connections and tackling youth loneliness. By involving young people in improving local spaces, we’re helping to increase their confidence and skills, while also building stronger, co-operative communities. We look forward to seeing the impact this funding has tackling youth loneliness across England.”

The room was officially christened on 28th August with a PlayStation tournament.

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