Gavinton-based charity The Learning Space is all about working with children and young people to break down barriers to learning.
And for the last few weeks, the focus has also been on breaking down walls!
Thanks to funding from Social Investment Scotland, the charity has been able to start work on renovating and redeveloping the Old Bakehouse in Gavinton, to expand its premises.
Right now, it looks like a lot of mess, rubble and skips; but the work has unearthed some exciting treasures.
Director David Ward explained: “We have taken away most of the old crumbling plaster and have found some lovely brick walls that will become a feature.
“There are two original old Scotch ovens that have cleaned up nicely. They will also be kept to help maintain the building’s heritage, along with the original old work bench that the bakers used. That is being restored and will be used for activities.
“We want to retain as much original character as possible whilst creating a flexible creative space for the young people”, added David.
“We’ve had lots of help from some of our young clients, and local trade companies have also been very generous in giving advice, time, materials and support.”
David was the head teacher at two Berwickshire primary schools, before leaving to set up The Learning Space to offer one-to-one creative support to youngsters who, for whatever reason, are struggling at school. He is also the parent of a young person with additional needs.
“I felt I could do more to help young people from outside the formal educational system,” he said. “I set up The Learning Space to help, support and work with young people who are experiencing challenges and barriers to their learning and development.”
The Learning Space programme includes activities such as animation, music, song-writing and recording, photography, gardening and woodwork, alongside the more traditional academic areas of literacy and numeracy.
The renovation and development of The Old Bakehouse will be a welcome addition to the current Learning Space area.
“We need more space as we continue to expand,” said David. “This new space, when complete, will allow us to work with the growing number of young people who are attending our sessions. Having this space will also enable us to take on additional staff and volunteers to help deliver the activities and experiences here at The Learning Space.”
Contact The Learning Space on 07899 841246 or visit www.thelearningspace.co.uk. You can also follow the Old Bakehouse project on Facebook.