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posted 27 Feb 2014, 04:25 by julie matthews   [ updated 27 Feb 2014, 04:25 ]
We can now announce that our SPACE SHOT project has been granted funding from the Big Lottery's Reaching Communities funding programme. Over three years SPACE SHOT will provide 11-19 year olds in Ernesettle with three professionally-run youth sessions a week, plus a range of expert-led activities, including film making, dance, water sports, street sports and art. Based at the YMCA-managed SPACE Centre, the project will offer young people the opportunity to engage in positive activities, help them improve their lifestyles and health and involve them in local community events.

Through this work Barefoot hopes to reduce levels of anti-social behaviour and increase both confidence and community engagement amongst local young people. The project will also work closely with local agencies, including schools, the NHS surgery, churches and other community organisations to identify young people less likely to come forward and benefit from SPACE SHOT’s opportunities. Barefoot and its partners estimate that there are approximately 600 young people aged 11 to 25 living on the Ernesettle estate in Plymouth.

Barefoot is a member of SPACE (Strategic Partnership Assisting the Community in Ernesettle), along with Plymouth YMCA, Plymouth Community Homes and Plymouth City Council Youth Service. Barefoot Director Richard Marsh says:

‘Thanks to this Big Lottery Reaching Communities grant we will be able to take opportunities for young people in Ernesettle to a new level. With our SPACE partners we’ve worked hard to maintain a small pilot youth project for the past 12 months, but SPACE SHOT is what’s really needed and it’s what the young people and community of Ernesettle deserve’

Barefoot’s Chair Brian Ward is delighted at the news, both for Ernesettle and for his charity:

‘Times are tough for small charities and we’re very grateful for all the faith our funders and partners have shown in Barefoot’s work. We like to feel we punch above our weight in delivering projects and services to the parts of Plymouth where they are really needed.’

Barefoot is a small independent charity hosted by the University of St Mark and St John. SPACE SHOT plans to link with its Department for Children, Young People and Communities and offer valuable experience to student volunteers from the university.  A successful application to the Universities South West Innovation Voucher scheme will also enable The University of St Mark and St John’s Dr Sue Cooper to work with Barefoot and its partners to embed a groundbreaking method of evaluating the project.