Community / Space for young people to trial evening openings after positive feedback

A HANG-out space for young folk in Lerwick which launched during the October holidays is now set to open three evenings a week.

The Hub, which is located at 66/68 Commercial Road, will host free evening drop-ins from 7 November as part of a trial.

On Mondays the council-owned building will open its doors for people aged 12 plus from 8.15pm to 10.15pm.

On Wednesdays it will open, again for those who are 12 plus, between 8.45pm and 10.15pm. On Fridays the age will increase to 14 plus, with an opening time of 7.30pm to 10.15pm.

The maximum age for all three evenings is 26, and the pilot will run through to Christmas.

There is free WiFi on offer in the warm space, with gaming, TVs and refreshments also on offer.

The Hub is being put on by Shetland Islands Council’s youth services team, with youth workers on hand to assist during opening times.


Team leader Martin Summers said the feedback from the October holidays was positive; for instance there was one day where between 45 to 50 people stopped by.

Young people also visited the Hub from around Shetland, and not just Lerwick.

“I think it just showed the demand and need for a space for young people to come in and be able to hang out and be in their own space,” Summers said.

“Speaking with young people, we’re wanting to pilot this with young people and see if it’s something that they would use during the run-up to Christmas.”

Summers said it should also provide a comfortable, safe space for young people as the weather gets worse.

Feedback from young people and parents/guardians from the October break included one person saying it is “important to have a safe warm environment to hang with friends without fear of being seen as a pest”.

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Another said they “loved” the Hub, whilst there was also praise for staff.

One person also said: “It’s great to have somewhere that doesn’t involve money as to be honest I usually don’t have much.”

The plan is to form a Hub working group made up of young people and youth workers to help shape how the project is developed.

“If there is young people out there that have enjoyed the Hub and want to see us develop it, we’re really keen to ensure that young people are part of that process,” Summers said.

It comes amid concern over the lack of spaces for young people to go to in Lerwick.

This led to the OPEN peer education project launching a study into the issue.

OPEN already runs a youth cafe in the Olive Tree in Lerwick for 14 to 25 year olds. Currently this is open on Mondays and Thursdays between 4pm and 6pm.

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