HeadSpace

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HeadSpace is a three year national project run by The Reading Agency to create and put into practice a new vision of teenage library services, driven by young people themselves. It is funded by the Big Lottery and is part of a bigger national change programme for teenage library services called Fulfilling Their Potential.

The first phase is to create 20 new library environments across England where young people decide the layout, furniture and books for their new spaces, can chill out and enjoy cutting-edge reading experiences or find new volunteering opportunities.

HeadSpace is being run in partnership with libraries and young people from a range of communities - urban and rural - and from culturally diverse backgrounds. It is helping to bring their ideas to life to meet the needs of local young people.

It is aimed in particular at socially excluded communities of young people. It offers all young people involved in the project the chance to gain accreditation for their participation, giving them recognized skills for future employment or training.


Contents

Key audiences

Young people aged 11-19


Aims

The HeadSpace project is currently running in 20 sites. Other library services wanting to set up their own HeadSpace sites can access the full range of necessary resources, support and site licences through The Reading Agency’s Participate Programme.

Evidence for success

Evalution during 2008 showed that the HeadSpace scheme now involves 1,700 young people in deprived areas. Over 500 of them have taken up leadership roles, and 125 young people have got involved in regular volunteering. Young people say being involved with HeadSpace has given them more confidence and new skills. (Statistics taken from HeadSpace Project 2008 report. Copyright The Reading Agency 2008, using data supplied by 11 out of 20 Big Lottery-supported local authority project partners.)

Who runs this project

HeadSpace has been developed by The Reading Agency and is run in partnership with libraries and young people.

During the summer of 2006 The Reading Agency worked with almost 700 young people to develop the concept. Some of the most innovative elements, like the idea of being served drinks and book of their choice by a specially-trained volunteer "book waiter" came from the young people themselves. The HeadSpace brand was then developed with young people over a four month consultation.

The HeadSpace project is currently running in 20 sites. Other library services wanting to set up their own HeadSpace sites can access the full range of necessary resources, support and site licences through The Reading Agency’s Participate Programme.


Partners

The HeadSpace project is supported by a wide range of partners at national and local levels including: The National Youth Agency (NYA) The Museums Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) the Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians (ASCEL)


Contact

Claire Styles, Senior Adviser, The Reading Agency claire.styles@readingagency.org.uk Tel: 0871 664 9689 Mob: 07932 725420


Debbie Hyde, Media Consultant
debbie.hyde@oasismedia.co.uk
Tel: 07956 320 486

Also available to speak about their involvement with HeadSpace are:

• Case study interviews: young people involved with local HeadSpaces

• Library and local authority staff involved with local HeadSpaces

External links

Headspace Their Reading Futures

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