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.