Restoring youth club activities and items of furniture

Upholstering project raising funds for Bruce Grove Youth Space

By Catherine Suttle

My family and I settled down in Tottenham seven years ago, having moved from the other side of the world. It was a big move for my kids, aged ten and twelve years, but we discovered the Bruce Grove Youth Space, nearby, and we went along.

One of my sons became a regular there for a while, and he and I discovered the Youth Space’s enormous value to local young people, with the brilliant youth leaders and volunteers providing important role models, teachers and mentors. I want to describe the Youth Space as gold dust, but really it might better be compared to water – it is vital to many young people’s lives in Haringey.

I have witnessed the Youth Space’s value to its members on many occasions, but one stands out.

Back in 2018, I attended the launch of the Tanisha Melbourne-Blake Foundation, an evening in honour of Tanisha, an innocent young woman who had been shot and killed in Tottenham earlier that year. It was very clear that Tanisha was loved, both as a member of the youth club, and as part of a family; she was viewed as a sister.

The Bruce Grove Residents’ Network had raised funds for refreshments at the launch, and some of the young people speaking at the event had thanked residents for these funds. They seemed moved by the fact that local residents had raised this money − not the government or a funding body, but ordinary neighbours.

Like numerous other centres here and around the country, the Youth Space has been hit hard by closure during the pandemic, having lost close to 75% of their regular attendees. To re-engage the young people who may now be feeling isolated, they are planning to enhance their already fantastic summer activities programme, (which for years has offered creative, sport and musical activities), with podcasting and photography programmes for their previously regular attendees, as well as their new ones.

I’ve recently been raising funds for the Youth Space by fixing furniture via my not-for-profit social enterprise, Of All Places. Most of the furniture I work on, I find discarded on the streets, some is donated to me, and other items I restore on commission, with all profits going to Bruce Grove Youth Space.

I’m an amateur and furniture restoration
is something I’ve learned about locally through part-time
courses. So far, I’ve repaired and/or reupholstered all sorts of chairs. In this way, chair owners of Tottenham have raised almost £700 which will pay for some of the podcasting and camera equipment to help get the Youth Space’s additional courses started.

If you’d like to raise money for Bruce Grove Youth Space, and you have furniture you’d like to revive, get in contact with me.

For more information: www.ofallplaces.co.uk

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