Shaping Spaces

Shaping Spaces is a Wellbeing project for young people aged 16-25 who are NEET. It is part of Bradford Environment Education Service (BEES) within City of Bradford YMCA. 

Through previous work with young people, we realised that many struggled with ‘hidden’ difficulties such as anxiety, depression, isolation, lack of confidence and low self-esteem. The Shaping Spaces Wellbeing project is our response to this. By spending time together in some of Bradford's wonderful green spaces, working on community projects and reflecting on life, we support young people to improve and maintain their health and relationships, busting some of the barriers to living a more fulfilling and happy life, increasing their confidence and potential.

Each Wednesday we go out and enjoy time together in nature and on Thursdays we meet indoors to reflect on the experience of the day before and run small group sessions and one-to-ones focusing on relevant issues and topics such as how to build positive relationships, goals for the future and life-skills. We aim to support participants to build new friendships, increase their confidence and self-esteem, improve their wellbeing and gain tools to enable them to stay healthy after the programme.

The project will be particularly beneficial to young people who spend a lot of time indoors and feel a lack of connection to their community. The programme has been co-designed with a steering group of young people and activities to date have included tree planting, lighting and cooking on a fire and guided mindfulness walks. We work alongside Bradford Environmental Education Service so have the opportunity to work with community groups on various conservation projects.

Our aim is that this new project will complement and enhance the other excellent youth provision in Bradford. It will also be part of a research project into youth loneliness and ways of helping young people who are experiencing loneliness. If you have any comments or questions please do get in touch, we want to make this work in the most positive way for all involved, including referral partners.

Key Info

Programme dates: May 2019 – Dec 2020

Length of participation: 4 months

Contact days: Wednesdays and Thursdays 10am – 3pm

Venue: Culture Fusion, 125 Thornton Road, BD1 2EP (trips out on Wednesdays)

Group Size: up to 10

Cost: free, reasonable travel expenses can be refunded each day

If you would like to know more or would like to refer a young person please contact Rachel Deadman – [email protected]

The Shaping Spaces Wellbeing project is supported by Co-op Foundation and government through the Building Connections Fund Youth strand and is part of Bradford YMCA.