by Anna

Today we are talking with Richard Doak who is youth worker in Space, an organisation that supports young people from different backgrounds by realizing their potential.

Richard, tell us a little about your work and about Space.

I work in the Space for over 10 years now, I am a qualified youth worker and I have a specialism in music that I developed over the years with the young people. I ´ve built recording studios in our youth centres, I am entrained to the music equipment, electronic music and production. That´s kind of where my area of expertise is.

So how does it look your cooperation with young people?

You impact and talk to young people, you give them advices and guidelines, but it is not that we force it on the young people. So it´s for them to think about and maybe it has an effect later in the future, so it´s sort of information and letting young people come to the right conclusions, make their own decisions.  We are not dictating what someone must and can´t do, we are just advising and letting them explore.  Having a constant, like  youth workers, so when young people experiment with something and it is not going well or they want to talk about it so they can come back to us and we look at good and bad sites, so it´s a developing process but in very informal way.

Are you working alone with youth or there is a team?

I am the only full-time worker in the project and I have a colleague in North Devon, because it is so far. He delivers evening sessions with young people up in the north and then I am covering middle and the south, so that´s my delivery.

What´s the best part of your job?

Work with teenagers, it´s always exciting, challenging, it keeps my brain thinking of new activities.

How does work the incubation process in Space?

In Space we have the same deliverables as any other association in AYCH but the way we are doing things is slightly different, mostly because we are working with younger participants of 14-19 years old. We are doing three hubs, one on south, another on north and the last one in the middle, it´s 1,5 hour of travel, so you can see the distance.  So the incubation process I am doing is slightly different because of the age range. So we meet up every week and I just keep it constant. Some weeks we are working on design, some weeks we look at the business, but it is still very informal. Like, if you are looking at Plymouth Collage of Art  for example, they have a list which says on this day we are doing this, on that they we are doing that and you just have to go, but for me it´s like constant move, we keep it relaxed and just work on ideas slowly without a panic. Some weeks someone can have a problem, because something in his life has happened, so some weeks I just have to forget about incubation and just do a youth work, give my support.  Another weeks we are very productive.

You will do a workshop during  Creative Jam in Santo Tirso, what is it about?

The workshop is going to be about sewing a glow with chips on it to control the music with the hand.  So we will make sewing to create a glow and then make coding to connect chips from the glow with a laptop and when they will coding then it will work. Santo Tirso is specialized in fashion so I wanted to do something relevant to what they are doing that´s why the workshop connects sound and fashion.

What do you think about AYCH project?

I think it´s great, the project is both challenging and exciting for Space, because we´ve never done anything like that before. It is really good opportunity to try new things. We developed our technologies as well, cause we didn´t have a lot in our youth centres, so now we have 3d printers, laser cutters, VR equipment, so we could move foreward to inspire young people as well.


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