Representing the sector Community Heroes in the Spotlight Space Youth Project Our Community Hero in the Spotlight for July is The Space Youth project – a local charity originally established in 2001. Space runs five youth groups and a support network across Dorset, giving young gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBT+) people the opportunity to join a supportive community. The project aims to help young people to develop positive self-esteem, to know they are supported, to have a sense of community and to facilitate freedom of expression. Since it started its activity 20 years ago, Space have achieved numerous milestones and have extended its kind groups to a larger area to help more people who struggle. Groups are currently operating in Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, Dorchester, Weymouth, Bridport, and Sherborne. A Space member explains: “I go to Space to grow confidence, make more friends, socialise, and learn vital skills when it comes to adult life especially as a LGBT+ person.” One-to-one support, family support, workshops for schools, colleges or youth groups, and professional training are offered free of cost to any young person under the age of 25 who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or is questioning their sexuality. “I am very grateful for the support my child has received and how inclusive everyone is at the group. I have seen the difference in my child and the difference it has made to us as a family. Thank you for being such an awesome team you are all individually awesome.” – a parent said about Space Youth Project. The Space Youth Project website features members’ responses to the statement “WITHOUT SPACE I WOULD FEEL…” and the responses demonstrate the powerful impact that the charity has had. A few examples are: “I would feel devastated”, “Alone”, “I don’t want to think about it!”, “Extremely sad”, “Lost. Probably still not out.” Emma Lee, CAN’s partnerships manager said about Space: “The Space Youth project is phenomenal, a lifeline for so many young people across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, providing support not only to young people but helping their families and friends navigate through what can be challenging for so many. We are so proud to be able to champion and celebrate charities such as Space which are often rarely talked about through our Community Hero in the Spotlight initiative.” More information about this project can be found on Space Youth Project website. You can listen here to our Partnerships Manager, Emma and Helen, from Space Youth Project talking to Blair Crawford on Hope FM about our Community Hero in the Spotlight initiative and the amazing work they are doing.