Back in February 2020, in days before covid and social distancing, young people from Alyth Youth Partnership participated in young placechangers placemaking training with youth workers. Members of the community came along too, to participate and support the young people. Their initial idea was to tidy an area in the town square and install a ‘blether bench’ to help with social isolation. This led to them applying for an Ideas Fund grant to work on developing a meeting space for Alyth Town Centre.

Idea development

The bench would act as a place to meet and chat with other young people and be a social space for the whole community, and passing tourists too. The idea was very well received and supported by other community groups in the town and Alyth in Bloom who would help with floral displays too. Unfortunately like many other projects at this time it was delayed due to covid lockdown. However, the young placechangers team continued to support the group in ways that they could and encouraged them to apply for Ideas Fund to help them move from Idea to practical solutions.

With more groups meeting and doing activities outdoors the bench idea has now evolved into a covered seating area. They have also developed lighting for the space and planting too. Offers of help from the community have been welcomed to help develop the idea and practical help too from local crafts people. The group made a short film that we were able to showcase at our national young placechangers toolkit launch which highlights their involvement in the programme.

Latest progress

The latest update is that they have had the local tree surgeons along to cut back the overhanging branches and tidy the area up. Alyth in Bloom have started planting up the area and Gavin the local joiner has started work on the bench. They are aiming for an event to celebrate their achievements in the summer. It’s fantastic to see how this project has kept going over these difficult months and evolved as the way we use outdoor spaces has changed due to covid restrictions. Their initial idea to tackle social isolation has become even more vital and we look forward to joining the celebration of this great idea over the coming months.

Learn more

Want to find out more about young people and place projects? Or interested in learning how you can engage and involve young people about their local places? Then join us for the Young People and Place Festival 16 - 17 June. 

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Better Outside

As we continue to adapt to living with covid-19, Better outside – using our spaces more provides examples, ideas, inspiration and resources for taking indoor activities outside. Check out the guide and Ideas Source Book and be inspired by ideas for your local greenspace. In addition to the shelter and seating ideas in the Ideas Source Book, we’ve now added an open-source design for a low cost, mobile, multipurpose shelter. 

Better Outside