Thursday, 29 July 2010

WEYES is finished!

The keys for 4, Graingerville North were handed to back us from _space Architecture and Management last Friday and the WEYES staff team moved back in on Tuesday, they are now busy unpacking and preparing to re-open the building to young people next week. Everyone at Children North East is absolutely delighted with the transformation to the building that _space have made. It is now a welcoming, colourful and vibrant place that will say to the young people of Benwell and Elswick, ‘you are really important, you deserve a place as good as this’. We always saw this project as an investment in the young people of the area and that is exactly what has been delivered. So a huge THANK YOU to the whole team at _space for all they have done.

_space generously looked after all the design and planning stages for free, for which we are extremely grateful. Dave Heslop did the design work which has created clean spaces within a modernised building but retained and enhanced the traditional external features of the original building. Simon Humphrey of _space managed the building project and went to exceptional lengths to keep the costs as low as possible while extending the original specification, for example to include a new roof and reconstruction of the front parapet which proved to be dangerous. And none of this would have been possible without the interets and support of Rob Charlton, Chief Executive of _space.

The WEYES staff team will be running a host of activities from the project this summer. The new facilities mean that we can offer young people a great deal more than was possible before, for example the big kitchen area is ideal for a drop-in youth café where young people can chill and we could offer work experience for other young people to help run it. The study area means that tutors working with young people who are excluded from school will have a better experience of individual tuition. And we are already receiving enquiries from other youth groups wishing to use the group/meeting rooms. We expect that the Newcastle City Youth Council will see it as their base. This is all just a beginning of what are certain to be bigger things ahead.

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