New worker, new funding and a new area for 2019

posted 7 May 2019, 05:26 by Richard Marsh   [ updated 8 May 2019, 02:21 ]

What a delay! Apologies for the lack of updates, but things have been very busy. 

First of all, following the departure of our lead worker last year, our own Jon Dingle was appointed as Professional Worker to lead the team and Gail Coath was appointed to fill Jon's old role as Senior Youth Support Worker. Gail's experience includes working with excluded young people at ACE and she works with Jon in both Ernesettle and Whitleigh. Prior to Gail's appointment, Jeanette Lynch worked with Jon on establishing our new patch in Whitleigh where massive strides were made, firstly in making contact with well over 100 young people on the streets and then commencing work with a number of groups, including some young people who had been heavily involved in anti-social behaviour.

In Ernesettle we received a financial boost in July 2018 thanks to a successful application to the People's Health Trust, which is funding project work with our young people through to mid 2020. Two highlights of this work already have been our young people's participation in 'Together for Childhood', a major long-term project instigated by the NSPCC with other City partners and based in Ernesettle. This is looking at innovative ways of preventing childhood sexual abuse, with Ernesettle selected because of the close way in which the community and local organisations (like Barefoot!) work together. At the launch event in October two project groups of our young people were the keynote speakers, telling the audience of over 100 professionals (police, social services, education etc) about where they felt safe and what needed to be added to the school curriculum to keep them that way. The second highlight was our recently completed diversity project, which saw young people visit refugee events, experience refugee awareness training and spend a weekend in London as guests of the Bollo Brook Youth Club in Ealing. This really challenged some previously held views about ethnicity and immigration, just through getting young people to meet people they wouldn't normally get the chance to talk to. Their latest project was focused on the Ernesettle Easter Fayre, running fund-raising stalls and activities.

Our Community Ambassador Project for Clarion Housing in St Budeaux ran throughout the year, with the 11 young participants working with Jeanette and Abi to mastermind a community event in July that combined fun activities at William Sutton Hall, with the chance to gather local feelings about their issue of choice: 'Do we need more youth work in St Budeaux?' The  answer was a resounding 'yes' and at the beginning of 2019 we were able to announce this will become a reality following a successful bid to the North Yard Community Trust for three year's funding, with additional support from Clarion, to provide detached (street-based) youth work in the St Budeaux and Kings Tamerton neighbourhoods. At Christmas the CAP grouped organised their last event, a delicious Christmas meal for elderly local people.

Back in Whitleigh, young people from Whitleigh and Ernesettle also helped provide a Christmas meal for potentially lonely residents at the 4 Greens Centre and, thanks to support from local councillors, youth workers also took young people from the area over to the Livewire youth music facility in Saltash for a series of regular music making sessions. The Whitleigh Big Local, who fund our youth work in the neighbourhood, have also announced funding support for this work that will guarantee it through to mid 2020.

Ernesettle also got a boost in the New Year when a bid to the Co-op Foundation didn't get the big prize, but led to a substantial amount being awarded to improve our facilities, focusing on attracting more, lonely young people to the SPACE Centre. With all decisions made by our young people the centre now boasts a new settee and 65" screen for gaming (plus new games), a surround sound system and completely refurbished pool table, not to mention tablets, laptops, new cooking facilities and disco lights!

Special thanks must go to our local councillors in Ernesettle, Whitleigh and St Budeaux for their continuing support, both moral and financial, and to our other main funders, the wonderful Tudor Trust. More bids are in the pipeline and our collecting tins in the area are constantly filled by generous local people. We'd also like to thank our longstanding volunteer Rosie who left us in 2018 and our current volunteers Milda, Simone and Rachel who so generously support the youth team in Ernesettle.

Finally, Barefoot is working with sister youth groups in Honicknowle and Barne Barton to form the PL5 youth work consortium, aimed at ensuring this vital work continues in all areas of NW Plymouth. 

Funding Success, New Role in Whitleigh and a New Post

posted 30 Mar 2018, 06:14 by Richard Marsh   [ updated 30 Mar 2018, 06:16 ]

Things have been very busy at Barefoot Towers (aka the SPACE Centre) so apologies for not updating our news page. Better late than never!

Firstly, we received great news at the end of last year when our application to the Tudor Trust for two years of funding, totalling £50,000, was successful, a wonderful follow-on from our Crowdfunder campaign and additionally boosted by a grant of £10,000 from Awards for All. The Tudor Trust really understand what we're trying to achieve in Ernesettle (and St Budeaux and, now, Whitleigh) and as part of the application process visited us to find out more about SPACE Shot, face-to-face. More applications for funding to support both our core work and projects are in the pipeline.

After an approach from the Whitleigh Big Local, a community project funded by the Big Lottery, our proposal to begin a youth provision in the area was accepted and I'm doubly glad to say that this commission has now been extended to June 2019. Whitleigh shares many of the same issues we encountered in Ernesettle, with a lack of facilities and activities specifically aimed at early and mid-teens, leading in some cases to anti-social behaviour. Jon and Jeanette have been carrying out detached work on the streets since the middle of January and liaising with the Salvation Army Youth Club as well as many other partners in the area. A big shout out for Whitleigh Community Manager Pippa and the Big Local committee for all their help and faith in our approach. We hope to begin using the 4Greens building for project work in the near future.

This also links to some sad news, in that Claire Best, our brilliant Professional Youth Worker and SPACE Shot 'veteran' will be leaving us at the end of April. Claire is moving to a full-time post as a Professional Youth Worker with Plymouth City Council and we wish her all the best for the future. Claire was one of the original SPACE Shot youth work team and her passion, expertise and huge efforts to support young people in Ernesettle have played a massive part in making the project the success it is today. We will all miss her, but life goes on and as Claire leaves we now have a vacancy for a new post. Please click on the link below for more information.

Barefoot begins Community Ambassador Project in St Budeaux

posted 12 Sep 2017, 05:41 by Richard Marsh

Claire and Jon, our youth team, have started work on an 18 month Community Ambassador Project for Clarion Housing (formerly Affinity Sutton) in the St Budeaux neighbourhood of Plymouth. Thanks to a contract with Clarion we will be bringing their successful CAP to the area and recruiting young people who want to get involved in community action that benefits the residents of St Budeaux. More updates will follow.


posted 2 Aug 2017, 03:37 by Richard Marsh

Sorry about the delay in getting this on our website but just to announce that we hit our crowdfunding target of £35,000 last week, meaning SPACE Shot and its work with young people in Ernesettle is secure until the end of 2017!

We'd like to thank an awful lot of people and organisations, but first must come the people of Ernesettle, who through personal donations, the Walker family-organised sponsorship of Kieron Walker and his Ten Tors expedition and response to local collections, showed tremendous generosity and support for the youth club. Then there were the members of Solomon's Porch, a local church group who had a collection for SPACE Shot that reached an amazing total. Our heartfelt thanks also go out to (in no particular order) Plymouth Community Homes, Plymouth Ladies Group, Citybus, 4Greens Trust, local Councillors Pete Smith, John Reilly, and Mark Lowry and Councillor Pauline Murphy (in her role as Lord Mayor), The University of St Mark and St John, Plutus Powergen and, of course, Plymouth City Council and its fantastic City Change Fund that provides vital match funding for projects such as ours. We also mustn't forget non-Ernesettle residents of Plymouth and elsewhere who also gave with great generosity, including friends and supporters of Barefoot, not to mention past and present Board members, staff and relatives.

With a degree of security we can now focus on raising funds to see us well into 2018 and, most importantly, continue our open access youth sessions and specialist project work, responding to the needs of Ernesettle's young people and helping them make the most of their lives.

Coming Up
On August 20th young people from Bollo Brook Youth Club in Ealing, London will be visiting us following our visit to them in March this year (when our Lottery funding was still available). Thanks to the Kelsey Trust and their kind grant of £1,000 we will be able to offer two days of activities and sight-seeing for our young people and their guests. We strongly feel that bringing together young people from different places, ethnicities and backgrounds is more important now than ever before, especially when it's also really good fun!

SPACE Shot is now running two sessions every Wednesday evening. Juniors (10-12) 4.00pm - 6.00pm, seniors (13-19) 6.30pm - 8.30pm. On Thursdays we have also commenced  junior and senior young womens' groups. The SPACE Shot Dance Company, run by Exim Dance is having a summer break and we are urgently looking into ways of funding sessions in the autumn. If anyone can help, please get in touch.

Note that SPACE Shot will shut down for one week from 14th-18th August.


posted 2 May 2017, 07:37 by Richard Marsh

Bad news hit the mat in April when we received the letter telling us that the Big Lottery had turned down our application for continuation funding, the support we needed to continue running our highly successful SPACE Shot youth project in Ernesettle for three more years.

Obviously we were a bit shocked and, after more than proving what had been achieved and was still needed in an application process that took over 12 months, loads of work and two application forms, a bit deflated. However, we never give up and now need your help to keep SPACE Shot and Barefoot alive.

To help young people in Ernesettle keep their youth sessions, youth workers and a safe place to go please share and distribute this crowdfunding link or even donate a little something yourself. The money will help keep sessions running while we make more applications and get other fund-raising schemes under way.

Barefoot has been around for 21 years and in that time we've run hundreds of arts and sport projects for children and young people, helped various groups such as the Wheel Fever wheelchair user's dance group get off the ground and ran the Big Arts Festival, which gave arts activity and performance opportunities to thousands of Plymouth kids, for 12 years. We've been working in the youth work field  since 2011, helping Southway Youth Club re-open and ensuring that youth work didn't disappear in Ernesettle after the collapse of the Budshead Trust. In Ernesettle someone said 'most organisations would have walked away', but we don't work like that, and, as a result,  with the SPACE partnership, we've managed to re-open the small youth and community rooms and deliver youth work, activities and much needed support to 283 young people, 46% of the 10-19 year olds in the area, for four years. The last three years brought an investment of over £300,000 into Ernesettle, including a first class youth work team and total commitment to the young people and their community.

Now we need some help, so please...pass it on.

SPACE Shot's Winter/Early Spring 2017 update

posted 14 Mar 2017, 06:51 by Richard Marsh

Despite a rare dose of the day-long downpours, SPACE Shot staged the first Ernesettle Infinity Music Festival on Ernesettle Green as part of 2016's Community Fun Day, which ended up delayed until early October because of...bad weather! Inspired by a disabled SPACE Shot member, who is unable to travel to see any live music, our young volunteers applied to the City’s Vital Sparks fund for funding to bring live music to him and the rest of the Ernesettle Community, linking in with the annual Fun Day organised by Ernesettle Community Forum. Many windy and muddy obstacles were thrown in our way during the day but in the best traditions the show went on.

Acts who performed at Infinity, in front of a big screen showing our new Fotonow film all about SPACE Shot, included Andy Quick and his band, Billy Love, Gii Dhi, DJ Indie and DJ Steppin’ Razor with the SPACE Shot Youth Dance Co, (led by Exim Dance) opening the festival. Despite all the weather issues, our young people are keen to take on the management of another event in 2017.

As we reached the colder months we took the decision to abandon Ernesettle's rather exposed and rain-swept MUGA (multi-use games area) for our Devon FA-supported football sessions and transfer to the flood-lit, astro-turfed GOALS facility at Plymouth's Central Park. Our young people also got the chance to try tobogganing and other winter sports during a visit to Plymouth Ski Centre.

Just before Christmas youth workers Claire and Jon publicised SPACE Shot at a very successful assembly at nearby Marine Academy Plymouth, with lots of young people staying behind to chat and find out more. This was followed by the culmination of a charity fund-raising drive by our young people for the Hugs from Henry charity. £100 was presented to Henry during an evening dance performance in his honour at SPACE Shot. This period also saw preparations for the Ernesettle Christmas Fayre where SPACE Shot provided activities and volunteers, traditionally ensuring that Santa and his elves were on duty all afternoon.

Since New Year things have been hectic, with one group of young people engaging in Microbits computer programming training at Plymouth University, another developing a Diversity project and another working with an artist to design and paint a mural in our ex-store room/newly converted small group space. The Diversity project has seen young people travel to the Zone’s converted barn at Lopwell Dam, where they’ve discussed diversity issues and have been trained in refugee awareness by Students and Refugees Together (START). This group has also visited the Piety mosque in Plymouth and attended refugee-led ‘Cultural Kitchen’ cookery and social events.

As if that wasn’t enough, Spring half term visits to the new Adrenalin Quarry assault course and Mission Escape kept minds and bodies active as did our dance group’s performance as part of a major Plymouth dance event held at City College’s Goschen Centre.

And throughout the winter our weekly drop-in sessions have continued to give Ernesettle’s young people a place to drop in with food, friends and activities led by our amazing youth work team, with support and advice on everything from sexual health to writing a CV.



posted 7 Sep 2016, 10:17 by Richard Marsh

We’ve been regularly keeping everyone informed about what SPACE Shot is up to through our SPACE Shot Facebook page so here’s a catch-up on our spring and summer 2016 activities.

First of all though, let’s briefly talk numbers. When SPACE Shot started in April 2014 it inherited 48 young people from our 2013 pilot project. By March 2016 that had increased to 225 11-19 year olds and since April over 40 new members have engaged with the project. This is a great way to celebrate our 20th Anniversary! Yes, Barefoot is 20 years old.

What We’ve Been Doing

In April our Easter holiday activities included horse riding on Dartmoor, a visit to Woodlands Adventure Park and a paddle boarding and power boating day at Mount Batten Watersports Centre.   We also took part in the first Ernesettle event run by fellow Reaching Communities-funded project Active Neighbourhoods, with our young people learning about the nature and environment of Ernesettle Creek in a fun way, with big litter picks on the way there and back.

In May our first mixed residential took place over a fantastically sunny weekend, with young people learning to climb and abseil on the mighty Dewerstone near Shaugh Bridge and, on the following day, getting wet and worn out coasteering and raft building at Paignton. With an overnight sleepover at Poundsgate in the heart of spooky Dartmoor this was an unforgettable experience for everyone.

In June young people tried out trampolining in Newton Abbot and we introduced a regular Thursday Night visit to the Livewire Youth Project across the Tamar in Saltash, where our budding musicians and singers could benefit from Livewire’s rehearsal rooms, recording studio and expert guitar and drum tuition. This had a particular focus because a group of young people spent the spring hard-at-work raising money for and planning our own Infinity Music Festival, to be run as part of the Ernesettle Fun Day in September 2016. Special thanks to Vital Sparks!

In July our new football coach, Scott, kicked off more Friday night footie sessions on Ernesettle Green, with support from Plymouth Sports Development and Devon FA, and our dancers, after a spring of regular dance sessions and choreography with Exim Dance, ran their own Dancethon at the SPACE Centre, raising money for the Hugs from Henry charity, supporting families coping with childhood cancer Neuroblastoma. July also saw our first joint health session with Ernesettle NHS Surgery, with staff from the surgery running a smoking cessation workshop with our young people.

While all this was going on our regular sessions were running on a weekly basis, providing recreational activity, opportunities for young people to seek the advice and support of our youth workers and a whole range of in-house activity, such as cooking, painting and education in everything from health to happiness!

Our provisional weekly autumn and winter schedule is:


6.00 - 8.00pm (13+)           Project Night


4.00 - 5.20pm (11-13)       Open access Junior Youth Club (SPACE)

5.30 - 6.50pm (13+)           Open access Senior youth club (SPACE)

7.20 - 8.40pm (13+)           Closed Senior youth club (SPACE)                          

6.00 - 8.00pm (11+)           Dance with Exim (St Aidan's)


5.30 - 6.30pm (11+)           Football with Devon FA (MUGA on the Green)

6.30 - 7.30pm (11+)              Open access youth club (SPACE)


posted 15 Feb 2016, 06:19 by Richard Marsh

SPACE Shot's been busy during the Autumn and Winter planning a new schedule of regular sessions and activities for young people in Ernesettle and producing our biggest young person-led community fund-raising project so far.
However, our Autumn started with a major move for Barefoot, swopping our office at Marjon (our home for the past 15 years) for new premises at the Ernesettle SPACE Centre. Barefoot and SPACE Shot are now firmly embedded in the Ernesettle community, with all staff within shouting distance of each other! Our heartfelt thanks to the University of St Mark and St John for years of support. We'll continue to work with the university via everything from student placements to evaluation and research.
As these things do, the Autumn became an extended run up to Christmas and both the Ernesettle Community Christmas Fair and the first major project for our new wave of SPACE Shot Young Women's Group members. As the last group bowed out with a 'biggie' (their Dartmoor residential at Prince's Hall), the new group wanted to start in style. Thanks to youth worker Daisy's contacts with Plymouth Women's Refuge, a visit from a refuge representative inspired the young women's group to provide Christmas stockings for children spending Christmas in the refuge with their Mums. To provide stockings required research and funds, so ages and genders were obtained and a fund-raising plan devised that included contacting Plymouth businesses for support, making jewellery to sell at the forthcoming Christmas Fair and preparing for a raffle at the same event. The outcome was over £300 raised, as well as generous donations for stockings and the raffle from businesses, and (after a major shopping trip) a car-load of individualised stockings plus a sack of 'extras' that was passed on to Santa just before the great day. For children who thought the man in red wouldn't know where to find them it was a brilliant surprise and much appreciated by them, their Mum's and the staff at the Plymouth Refuge.
The second Ernesettle Community Christmas Fair was also a resounding success, with SPACE Shot young people and youth workers providing everything from Santa's elves to raffle staff. Even Santa acknowledged SPACE Shot's help in getting him there!
For the SPACE Shot Young Men's group a brand new initiative took them into the New Year as non contact boxing sessions got underway in early February, giving the opportunity to learn new skills, get fit and learn self-control without getting damaged! Masterminded by youth worker Jon, the sessions are delivered by Plymouth Sports Academy at St Aidan's church hall.
Our new February 2016 SPACE Shot schedule is now in operation, developed from the needs and wants expressed by the young people we work with. It is:
5.00 - 6.30pm (11+)     Young Women's Group (SPACE Centre)
6.30 - 8.00pm (13+)     Young Men's Group - non-contact boxing (St Aidan's)
4.00 - 5.20pm (11-13)   Open access Junior Youth Club (SPACE)
5.30 - 6.50pm (13+)     Open access Senior youth club (SPACE)
7.20 - 8.00pm (13+)     Closed Senior youth club (SPACE)                          
6.00 - 8.00pm (11+)     Dance with Exim (St Aidan's)
5.30 - 6.30pm (11+)    Football with Devon FA (MUGA on the Green) temporarily suspended for Feb 2016 due to the weather conditions
6.30 - 7.30pm (11+)    Open access youth club (SPACE)


posted 2 Sep 2015, 06:06 by Richard Marsh   [ updated 2 Sep 2015, 06:08 ]

Just prior to the summer, Barefoot appointed Claire Best as our new Professional Worker, following the departure of Matt Hatchell for full-time employment with Plymouth Raiders Basketball Team. Congratulations to Claire and huge thanks and good luck for the future to Matt. However, because Claire was already part of the project, there was another post to fill, so hot on the heels of that appointment we are delighted to say that Jon Dingle, ex placement student and volunteer, was selected to fill the role of 'second' Senior Youth Support Worker, partnering Claire and Daisy Ritchie.
Also in the early summer, our new SPACE SHOT dance group, developed with partners Exim Dance, performed for the first time in front of an audience of international students at Plymouth Creative School. As if this wasn't high profile enough, they followed it up with 2 performances in Plymouth City Centre as part of the National U-Dance Festival and wowed both the crowds and other dancers and dance tutors from the SW and beyond. There'll be more performances in the Autumn, including one at Ernesettle Fun Day.
At the regular SPACE SHOT youth sessions, weekly cooking (and communal dining) continued to develop as more young people improved their culinary skills, all going hand-in-hand with our healthy living programme that is helping young people make informed and safe life-style choices. SPACE SHOT also continued to develop its young people's forum, giving the people at the centre of the project more and more control over the SPACE SHOT programme and the decision-making process. Part of that was the selection of this summer's excursions and activities which included: kayaking in Plymouth Sound, horse riding on Dartmoor, surfing in Cornwall, paintballing in Devon and quad biking through loads of mud!
This year all the activities were filmed by partners Fotonow, who are working with young people to record their experiences and what they are getting from them, much of which will be presented at the forthcoming Ernesettle Fun Day on September 26th, an event that young people from SPACE SHOT are playing an increasing role in organising and running. This year that will include running stalls and children's competitions, stewarding the SPACE SHOT Youth Football Tournament (now in its 2nd year), assisting with refreshments and selling raffle tickets. Several young people from SPACE SHOT attended an Ernesettle Community Forum Fun Day meeting in August and are busy (tonight!) designing the poster for the event.
So what's coming up in the Autumn? Well, the continuation of our young men's group and the forming of a 'new' young women's group, plus regular football sessions, a major recruitment drive to engage even more young people in the Ernesettle area and preparations for SPACE SHOT's growing role in the 2015 Ernesettle Christmas Fayre, introduced last year by our SPACE partners Plymouth Community Homes. Wednesday night continues as the weekly core youth session, with Juniors (11-13) from 5.00pm and Seniors (13-19) from 6.45pm.
And with so much going on, just a quick mention of another Barefoot-led project, the culmination of the Ernemetal public art project that saw its grand opening in June. Commissioned by Plymouth Community Homes to devise a public art project that gave the power to the people of Ernesettle, Barefoot organised an opening event that saw a grand parade of children from Ernesettle Community School, transformed into singing insects by Stiltskin Theatre Group, whilst more children entertained the crowds with drumming and dance performances. The new art work, created by local residents, SPACE SHOT members, Ernesettle school children and Marine Academy Plymouth students, all working with artist Noah Taylor, glistened in the sun as our guests enjoyed refreshments created and served by young people from MAP and examined the original artwork displayed in the windows of local shops and Ernesettle Library. Yet more Ernemetal outdoor art is to be added in the early Autumn.

SPACE SHOT Youth Worker Post

posted 12 May 2015, 09:24 by Richard Marsh   [ updated 12 May 2015, 09:27 ]


Professional Youth Worker

22 month contract           20 hrs per week          £28,064 pro rata

A qualified and experienced Professional Youth Worker is required to head a team of two Senior Youth Support Workers and volunteers in this exciting Big Lottery-funded three year project (two years remaining) based at the SPACE Centre in Ernesettle.  SPACE SHOT provides five youth sessions a week and a range of activities. We’re looking for someone who can build on the achievements of the project team, engage young people inclusively and effectively and positively manage and support colleagues and youth session activity. The successful candidate will report to the SPACE Shot steering group led by Barefoot, which is a small independent charity hosted by the University of St Mark and St John. Applicants must hold a JNC professional qualification in youth work. This post requires a DBS check and is not suitable for job share. Closing date Friday May 22nd 2015

For an application pack please e-mail or ring 07981426521       Registered Charity no 1062887      Company Limited by Guarantee no 3245163    


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