On Sunday 9th July, Space attended the Exeter Respect Festival once again to promote our organisation and the services which we provide as a youth service within the local and wider communities. The festival itself is the annual celebration of diversity within Exeter which promotes positive engagement and respect for one another within the wider community.

“Exeter Respect is the city’s annual celebration of diversity where we use the performing and creative arts to engage the wider community in saying no to racism and all forms of prejudice. The Respect ethos is a simple one: racism and prejudice often spring from fear, and fear is often based on ignorance, so let’s overcome ignorance by getting to know one another and sharing not shunning our cultures. One of the best ways to get to know someone is to enjoy yourself with them, hence our celebratory event and adoption of the old Commission for Racial Equality slogan: All Different, All Equal!” – Extract from the official website.

On the Sunday our aim was simple, keep it fun, keep it inclusive and above all, promote the positive opportunities and work we deliver for young people. Throughout the day we ran various activities to engage both young people and adults alike into our space, from open mic sessions, music workshops, smoothie making, face paints, festival games whilst talking to excited and curious members of the public about who we are and what we do.

This year the tent position was changed to be much more central within the community side of the festival which really allowed us to stand out and push ourselves and our services as wide and as far as possible which saw our impact and engagement to be much higher than the year before. This also allowed me (Adam) to capture the moment and to network with other music based organisations, some new contacts and some re-visiting old ones, to remind them of the work we do and what we offer for young people in and around our community. (always good to keep those links!)

Whilst the weather was a bit up and down throughout the day (heavy, heavy showers and then bright sunshine!) we had some really good conversations with parents, young people and everyone else about what Space* is, what we do, where we have youth centres and have already had young people attend sessions that we met at the festival. (Woohoo!!)

Unfortunately our smoothie bike didn’t quite work but we will persevere and in the near future we will have a working one! (tasted good though!)

Overall a long, but fantastic day, our young people did really well at chatting to the public, promoting our work, getting involved, singing, performing, encouraging others to get involved and just generally doing an amazing job at being the voice of Space* throughout the day.