Over the past 10 years, Space Unlimited has enabled local organisations - housing associations, development trusts, schools, employers and other local service providers - to engage directly with young people in their communities.
Our youth-led enquiry methodology creates space for young people to discover and explore local issues that they care about - and then to connect and collaborate with others to develop new or better services and opportunities in their own neighbourhood. Partners tell us that they value the way that our approach reaches out beyond the 'usual suspects' in community development – engaging a different and more diverse group of adults as well as a new audience of young people.
Our approach values and draws on local assets. The enquiry process delivers ideas - based on authentic youth insights - that inform local service provision – and a clear plan of action, co-produced with young people for taking the ideas forward. More importantly, the approach supports capacity building in young people, staff and local stakeholders – building relationships, confidence and skills that nurture youth engagement well beyond the lifetime of any funded project.
"I definitely feel closer to it (my community) now. I mean, I’d never really thought much about it before, but I definitely always thought I’d just want to get out as soon as I could. Now I’d like to try and change it for the better, so it’s a good place to be, and a good place to have my own family in…. It’s your home, and to be able to point to things and say ‘I did that’ to your own kids would be amazing."
"I was just a normal girl, not very important. But now I feel like I can change the community, that I have an important job to do, we’ve all got a special job."
"On the night of the community event, I realised people really want this. I felt like I was doing something to benefit a whole load of people. It’s not often you get a chance to change something for other people. It felt really good inside."