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Charity opens its arms to the wider community

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Fuse Cafe, Shettleston, East Glasgow

A project to extend and refurbish The Fuse youth venue in Shettleston, East Glasgow, will help the local charity for young people to extend its reach to provide activities for adults in the community as well.

The project is being carried out by main contractors Elmwood Projects Ltd, with Collective Architecture as project architects.

The Shettleston area has a high level of deprivation and young people face the risks and challenges associated with this. Fuse offers a safe place for them with a café area, gig space and internet café.

Fuse was always about far more than providing an alcohol and drug free venue for local young people to gather. The activities and resources available are always evolving to meet new needs and requests. The building of positive relationships between Fuse members and youth workers is pivotal to successfully developing the confidence, social and employability skills of these young people.

The internet café at Fuse is supported by Glasgow Kelvin College. Activities, including formal and informal learning, are offered.

When Fuse received £250,000 by the Big Lottery’s Community Spaces Scotland Funding stream to build the new extension, which will expand provision to the general community as well as youngsters, Gerry Baldwin, project manager of Fuse said: “It is always nice when someone believes in the project that you’re trying to complete.

“We’ve been trying to develop more for adults in the community – support the parents and the grandparents as opposed to just the young people.

“We’re talking about things that will increase their fitness and mobility, maybe adult education classes too in terms of literacy and numeracy.

“I’m traditional when it comes to community facilities, I like the idea of coffee mornings and potentially groups involving mothers and toddlers.

“I want to bring folk together and add a social experience as well as a development focus.”

The new single storey extension includes a hall and toilets and is of timber kit construction with timber aluminium clad windows and a Sarnafil roof. External works include the laying of pathways, landscaping and the creation of a tarmac driveway.

The extension has been designed to maximise the available space and to use natural light and ventilation.

The project also includes the refurbishment of various sections of the existing building – mainly the toilets which have completely reconfigured. The works commenced with a complete strip out followed by the installation of all new fixtures and fittings, floor coverings and re-decoration.

Other elements of the scheme include works to the tie building’s electrical, ventilation and alarm systems to tie in with the new extension. Measures to significantly improve energy use in the whole building are also being put in place.

The project is making good progress towards imminent completion.

The Fuse youth venue started nine years ago, when local teenagers took over a derelict pub in Shettleston. The former pub became the Fuse Youth Cafe – aimed at giving local youngsters a place to go and socialise.

More than 250 young people from across the area access the facility every week for sessions in everything from cooking to dance.

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