Just over a year ago Spirit in Sport were the grateful recipients of match funding support from local funding group PATCH. Today, as we water the succulents while looking out onto the Somerstown skyline on a sunny Tuesday evening, we’re excited to see how the redecorated multi-purpose ‘Room One’ will fill up.

A pitch was made to PATCH (Portsmouth Action Team for Community Harmony) in the spring of 2018, as Projects Coordinator Andy Bullock shared a vision of the rented space at Immanuel Baptist Church (IBC) becoming a home for a new ‘Careers Cafe’.

With match funding support of £500, Andy described how a team of volunteers would get to work on transforming the underutilized church room in this important building. A year later, the bright white-washed room is starting to see increased activity, including the completion of a 12 week Youth Alpha course, initiated by St Jude’s Church with volunteers from IBC and Spirit in Sport.

The modern minimalist design was envisioned by local interior designer Janine Smith, and turned into flesh through the Men’s Shed volunteers, complete with tables and back wall feature, all made from re-utilised wood pallets.

The Careers Cafe provides a friendly and welcoming space for the local community to explore career path aspirations and possible options. This includes through attending ‘Destinations’ talks with professionals, and taking part in ‘One’ careers conversation with volunteer careers advisers, either one-to-one or alongside small groups of friends or family members.

‘Room One’, as it’s come to be known, also provides a break out space for our Men’s Shed visitors, and a meeting point for our team and guests.

Room One was used in February for the Careers Cafe launch, which included a talk on options at 18 in a fast changing world, from Alan Bullock Careers

The revitalised space is receiving attention from visitors and potential partners alike, especially groups who work in the area of health and well-being. And so on the one-year anniversary of the shared vision, with our succulents now well watered and bathing in the early June sun, we look forward to seeing the room continue to fill for the benefit of the community and the glory of God.

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