Why this project?
We are creating a place in the City close to a neighbourhood where there is a lot of poverty.
By having such a hub in this place, we will first of all provide a low-threshold meeting place for young people of this neighbourhood. This hub offers the opportunity to combine various things impossible to do anywhere else in the city. A place where entrepreneurs and young people and other disadvantaged groups can come together to work on their skills and strengthen their network is unique in the city.
How do we work?
Young people can join with different levels of involvement. For instance, they can start with just dropping by without any obligation and looking around, having a drink...
Young people can also become a volunteer and choose the days and activities/events they want to participate.
At last, there is a training trajectory in which they commit themselves for a long period of time to a certain project or workshop.
By having a part-time youth coach on site who can assist the young people with all their questions, we build a safety net and increase trust. We also ensure that the bonds between the different young people start to grow by bringing them together regularly. They strengthen their own network with people of their own age.
What difference do we make?
The story of B. illustrates how we can make a difference in the lives of young people from our neighbourhood.
B. was introduced to the SPEED-You-UP programme by the partner Arktos. They knew him from the free time activities and the youth centres in Ostend. B. has been looking for a while for what exactly he wants to do with his life. He has no real work experience, and student jobs were also out of the question. Together with Arktos, he knocked on the door of the OCMW to get some financial support. Arktos also introduced him to the hub of O.666. At first, B. came there rather sporadically. He used to volunteer in the canteen or hang out there. Until they started expanding the workshop bike repair last year, B. was asked if he wanted to join in. Someone from the entrepreneurs involved took the lead in expanding the workshop. B. did small repairs and learned how to replace basic parts of a bicycle. It went by trial and error. For a while, he came to the hub less often. In the meantime, the local entrepreneur has taken a back seat and B. is the driving force behind the bicycle workshop. He has already trained a few young people to help as volunteers in the bicycle workshop. Arktos provides the necessary support and a sounding board for B.. We feel that B. is ready for the next step. He has indicated that he does not want to continue as a self-employed person. He wants to start looking for work at a bicycle repair shop or a bicycle dealer. He is also open to other jobs. Together with Arktos, we are now taking the first steps.
The bicycle repair shop started in March 2021. First, the service was there only for bikes from members of the O 6.6.6 network or for practising. Now they are thinking of offering this service to the neighbourhood as there is no bicycle repair shop in the neighbourhood. The business model for this shop is under development.
Two young people were involved. The bicycle repair shop was in an old container. The young people were taught the basic techniques for repairing bicycles using various old bicycles. Every volunteer or participant of events could have his bicycle checked. The youth coach of Arktos is responsible for the technical matters and the coaching of the young people.
The original idea came from three young entrepreneurs who wanted to do business with a social appoach. In Vonk, furniture is made with recycled materials from the local area. They work mainly with metal and wood found at sea or in shipyards. Five young people from the target group have been involved in this business. The young people have to help think about how they will approach the project, what materials are needed, how they will present this to the customer, how the timing will work.... The youth coach also regularly works with the young people on their soft skills.