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A space to call home

Young people take the lead in new drive to create a youth hub in Linwood.

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Young people are taking the lead in a pioneering project to create a community space for them to use in Linwood.

Linstone Housing and the charity CREATE Paisley have developed the SPACE initiative which puts young people at the centre of planning and designing it.

Now a former post office at Clippens Road in Linwood has been identified as a possible location for the space, assuming sufficient funds can be raised to make it happen. This approach means young people help decide what it will look like and what it offers.

The idea of engaging with young people aged between 11 and 15 on such an ambitious project is one of the first of its kind, and a series of workshops have been taking place during the summer at Linstone’s office in Linwood.

Later this year, young people will be supported to raise funds to finance the new space and in their fundraising plans.

Pupils from Linwood High School and St Benedict’s High School have been examining plans, submitting their ideas and discussing what the new space will offer. They have even been filming to make the case for the space.

They have been supported by CREATE whose mission statement is to see ‘young people transformed through creativity, community, confidence and finding their voice’.

CREATE’s Project Manager Alan Clark said: “We were so excited to be able to support the SPACE project this summer and to work with an inspiring group of young people to explore how we can creatively address the lack of spaces and opportunities for local young people.”

Also participating in the summer workshops has been architectural design company New Practice which – like CREATE – has been guiding the young people.

The initiative has been organised by Linstone 20/20 – the housing association’s ongoing project to support communities, promote social inclusion and increase employment opportunities.

Shannon Baird, 14, took part. She said: “We learned a lot and were able to put forward ideas that we think will make the SPACE work.”

Another participant Liam Kay, 14, said: “Everyone had lots of ideas, and it is good that we were able to offer our input. Hopefully, the SPACE will be created so that young people can use it all the time.” 

Linstone acknowledges the important involvement in funding of the workshops by Renfrewshire Council Local Partnership Fund for Linwood and Johnstone, Cash4Kids and Engage Renfrewshire.

Linstone Chief Executive Adele Fraser said: “This important project gives young people a voice on what they would like to see in their community. We have identified a severe lack of low cost and locally accessible activities and spaces for young people aged between 13 and 19 to congregate safely in Linwood, and we want to address that. Finding out what young people want is the right way to go about this.

“We are delighted with the contribution those participating in the workshops have made and will be invaluable as we submit our application for funding later this year.”

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