Designing A Safe Space For Local People

Escape2MakeHPA are delighted to be community Architects working with the local Lancaster and Morecambe charity, Escape2Make, as they make plans to develop & design a brand new youth centre building for 11-18 year-olds.

The charity offers an escape for local young people, where they can relax away from the pressures of their lives – whether that’s exams at school or emotional pressure at home, or simply the boredom and loneliness that so many young people feel. Everyone is welcome, regardless of their ethnicity, situation or personal circumstances, with no one excluded from being involved.

What is Escape 2 Make

The E2M team run regular courses and workshops delivered by local and national companies, local artists and students and lecturers from the local university and colleges. So far the courses have held at a variety of local venues, but the team would very much like to have a dedicated building of their own where young people can feel safe and comfortable.

Escape2Make is much more than just a youth club; it fills the need for a safe space for young people to hang out after school. A survey of 200 11-18 year-olds found that 79% of them felt that there was nowhere safe to go to hang out after school. In fact, when asked what they would want most from a new youth centre, ‘somewhere safe’ topped the list over things like having fun.

Proud to play our part

Zoe Hooton, one of our directors and architects at HPA Chartered Architects, has been proud to offer her time and expertise to the project free of charge, as E2M look to design their own purpose-built premises. She has been heavily involved in workshops with the young people to discuss their ideas for the new youth centre, and arranged input from local builders, set designers, psychologists and even magicians. Together they aim to lay down the concepts for a truly amazing, safe and stimulating space.

Zoe has conducted three workshops with the young people so far, and the organisation are trying to raise funds to provide a minibus to take them on a tour around local buildings to look for further ideas and inspiration. They are also encouraging more thoughts and sketches from anyone aged 11-18 in the local area via the suggestion box on the Escape2Make website.

Being part of the community, Zoe and the rest of the HPA team are pleased to deliver their expertise as chartered architects and in planning to be able to support the local Lancaster and Morecambe community in this way. Many of the team grew up locally and so they understand the situation and the importance of the work that is being done by Escape2Make.

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