Acclaimed youth service to transform young lives on the Isle of Dogs

[London, July 2020] — Award winning youth service Spotlight is set to enter the Isle of Dogs with a plan to tackle youth offending, unlock local young people’s talent and potential, and transform the community. 

Spotlight has partnered with The Utilize Project (TUP), a social enterprise which puts empty urban spaces to work with creative projects and social entrepreneurs that benefit the communities around them. 

Spotlight brings both a rich and detailed knowledge of Tower Hamlets, and a record of supporting and inspiring young people. The new Isle of Dogs programme will provide centre-based and detached community outreach through mentoring, courses providing qualifications that can jump-start participants’ careers, and other support tailored to meet the needs and preferences of the groups Spotlight works with.     

Spotlight will be helped with new facilities through The Utilize Project, who work with developers who want to invest in the communities they build in. They have turned disused areas into projects ranging from affordable shared workspaces and hubs for social entrepreneurship to women’s centres. 

The initiative will be particularly crucial with young people having had limited resources and opportunities to develop themselves throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown. 

Spotlight hopes to begin rolling out its programme by August 2020.

Nahim Ahmed, Spotlight Youth and Community Engagement Manager at Poplar HARCA said: 

“The difficult economic climate and the impact of the pandemic has left too many young people at a loose end and lacking support, which risks exacerbating problems with antisocial behaviour. We have a unique working model that consists of Centre-based Youth Work and Detached Youth Work that enables us to engage with hard to reach young people and break the cycle of offending. We give young people an empowering, supportive space in which they can develop or find new talents, be valued, and have access to professional support to become the successes they were always capable of being.”

“Every young person is unique to us, and we look forward to providing tailored support for people and communities across the Island.”      

Shahaveer Hussain, Co-Founder of The Utilize Project, said: 

“Too often, empty spaces are either neglected and left to generate problems or developed in a way that doesn’t serve the best interests of the communities they are part of.” 

“We aim to ensure that people who have plans to lift up the communities around them are able to access the space in which to do so. We are proud to partner with Spotlight and support them in bringing their award-winning services to young people on the Island.”  

Notes to editors 

  1. The Utilize Project is a social enterprise aiming to put London’s empty spaces for the benefit of the communities surrounding them. Their goal is to make a difference to the people who need community support, help new and small businesses to grow and flourish, reach out to young people and offer them a safe space to learn and grow through activities and opportunities we are able to provide. They offer affordable short term contracts on individual office spaces, coworking desks, maker spaces, event spaces & more.