IKEA and Eden Project support Lancaster Youth Charity to Dream Big
Swedish furniture giant IKEA and Eden Project International are the latest major
organisations to throw their support behind Lancaster-based charity Escape2Make.
Representatives from the firms were at the charity’s inaugural away day at Lancaster
Castle on Saturday 26th February.
The event was organised in conjunction with the Museum of Architecture and several
local businesses with the aim of designing a state-of-the-art building in Lancaster for 11-to
Cindy Soo, IKEA’s Director of Global Innovation and Co-Creation, told the young
participants how impressed and inspired she was by them:
“Escape2Make is the answer to the needs and aspirations of our youth today. Not only
will the charity provide a safe space to create, share, and learn, but also a voice where
our youth can continue to shape a brighter future for all of us. Our present and future
realities depend on them.”
Members of the Eden Project International team, officials from regional and national
youth services and representatives from local businesses also attended the event.
Eden Project International’s Head of Buildings, Gareth Jones, described the event as
“inspiring, moving and fun” and said the organisation enjoyed working with “amazingly
expressive and articulate kids, fizzing with ideas”.
During the day, the young people prepared detailed designs for their vision for every
aspect of the building, from its ‘messy workshops’, relaxation spaces and the central
heart of the building.
Their building designs incorporated sustainability, functionality, and nature throughout, as
well as welcoming different interests and approaches to use the building in harmony.
Escape2Make’s Architecture Group have been working with local firm HPA architects
since 2019, to conceptualise the vision of the building.
Also in attendance were representatives from Lancaster City Council, Calico Group and
SDG Changemakers – the catering was provided by Atkinsons.
The national body for youth work – the National Youth Association – also lent their
support to Escape2Make. The organisation’s Youth Work Specialist, Nicola Kelly, said “the little room in Lancaster
Castle allowed the opportunity to dream” and described the event as “youth
participation at its best”.
Jenny Natusch, Escape2Make’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Access to a radically
different, sustainable, state-of-the-art space designed for and by the district’s young
people is vital”.
“Escape2Make’s unique model is proven to make a profound impact and this project will
help prevent mental health problems and antisocial behaviour problems that costs society
Eden Project International will now use the designs created at the away day to produce
visual concept drawings which will then be used in the planning of the building.
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