• Jane Batchelor

Unlocking potential for young people and their communities in Devon

The journey from childhood to adulthood can be tricky for many young people and the COVID-19 pandemic over the last two years have made it more difficult than ever. Without support at the right time, in the right place and on the right issues, it can affect their chances and opportunities for life. Often young people lack places where they can be themselves and explore the development of their personality, skills, relationships and their potential. There aren’t enough trusted adults around who can walk alongside them to offer advice or guidance. In this absence, some young people become vulnerable to other influences which negatively impact their journey into adulthood. In turn, this can lead to exploitation or dependency.


Space Youth Service in Devon are making an active difference to the lives of thousands of young people and their communities by delivering professional youth work, community projects and other services to ensure young people have the best opportunities to succeed.


There are more young people than ever that need Space’s help, and, gbpartnerships foundation is proud to support this critical work, believing in the potential of all young people, no matter their circumstances.


Funding from the gbpartnerships foundation has been used across eight of Space’s youth centres and Chances Alternative Education School (in Dawlish) to contribute towards activities, trips, visits, support a residential trip and activities for street-based youth work in Dartmouth and Teignmouth during February Half Term.

Activities included:

  • Circus Workshop for 20 young people in Barnstaple. Senior Youth Support Worker commented: "It was such a fun session and so great to see all the young people involved and happy, realising that they can do things they didn't think that they could."

  • Half term trip to Exeter where young people were tasked to learn how to use public transport to get to and from their destination, navigate with maps and the internet around the centre to find landmarks and also visit specialist shops representing foreign food cultures. The ingredients are now being used alongside locally bought spices to make amazing Indian and East Asian food.

  • Cooking at Chances, Space's Alternative Education School in Dawlish. The students at Chances have loved the extra equipment that has allowed them to expand their development and learning in their cooking lessons, helping them to learn new skills, understand different cultures and explore new flavours. Thanks to the extra equipment the school now has the students are able to learn life skills and understand eating healthy.

  • Professional Virtual Reality sessions in Exeter, Newton Abbot and Totnes.





Jennefer Whitley, Space’s Head of Innovation & Growth commented:

“We are incredibly grateful for this funding from gbpartnerships foundation which has been used to provide young people from all backgrounds the chance to experience things they've never done before, helping to increase their self-confidence, self-esteem, build new friendships and aspirations. It has made a massive difference to lots of young people's lives and given them new experiences and opportunities which they wouldn't have otherwise had. It's those experiences and opportunities that help grow self-confidence, self-belief and their aspirations for the future. These opportunities help young people develop a trusted relationship with a youth worker and their peers which supports them through their adolescence, meaning they are more likely to make positive life choices and reach their potential Funding from the foundation has also gone towards supporting our street-based work that is being deployed in the Exeter area due to police reports about an increase in County lines activity and risks of child criminal exploitation of young people.”

Hugh Robinson, gbpartnerships group Business Development Director commented:

“Working together with Space, we are passionate about supporting more young people to unlock their potential for tomorrow and to enable them to get the help and support they need to not only enrich their own lives, but to strengthen our communities across Devon. Much of the work that Space delivers is carried out in areas where we are working in partnership with Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust to drive improvements in the estate from which health and care services are delivered. We hope that by investing in our young people - through supporting Space to offer more positive opportunities for their personal growth and development - we can build a brighter future for our local communities and help more people live well.”

Find out more about the work of Space, here: www.spaceyouthservices.org

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