Gabalfa Youth and Community Centre

Completed: 2024
Location: Cardiff
Region: Wales
Other local partners: Barclaycard, Dulux

About the project

In consultation with the local community, including its young population, Gabalfa Youth & Community Centre is on the up. A former council building, it’s the only youth provision in the north of Cardiff, and was in a fairly tired state. A collaborative decision was made between the centre and the local young people to move the venue forward, nominating the creation of multi-media spaces for young people to make, record and produce music and learn a range of digital arts skills including podcasting, green screen technology and 3D printing.

Step in our fourth project in partnership with Barclaycard, as part of their commitment to using music and the arts as a vehicle to teach life skills to young people.

The project:

We created a sliding door to create the sound booth, fitted acoustic tiles for basic soundproofing, fitted a window in between the two rooms, boarded existing windows for soundproofing, created shelving and tables, before prepping walls and redecorating throughout in inspiring colours to lead the club into the next phase.

The young people: 26 local young people taking part, the majority of whom regularly use the youth and community centre and volunteered to help these spaces they’ll thrive in moving forwards in, as well as local refugees referred through the YMCA and the local JobCentre.

The impact:

  • 22 young people gaining a City & Guilds accreditation in Painting & Decorating and Health & Safety
  • 3 multi-media spaces prepped and ready to be fully kitted out with donated equipment from local partners supporting the youth centre – ready to officially open in summer 2024
  • A youth and community centre fit for the future, using colour zoning to create dedicated wellbeing, gaming, homework and pool table areas, in an inspiring and complementary Dulux palette chosen by the young people
  • Painting and the building of a new outdoor shed supported by 7 partner volunteers from Toolstation over the border in South West England

James Healan, Principal Youth Officer for Cardiff Youth Service: “Working in partnership with VIY and Barclaycard to bring alive a creative media space to young
people in north Cardiff was an opportunity we could not miss. Young people and the wider community will continue to benefit from a range of innovative and creative experiences in this digital space for years to come. Involving young people from the community gives them ownership and makes them partners in the space, encouraging them to be active partners in the activities and opportunities delivered.”

Dan Mathieson, Head of Sponsorship for Barclaycard, said: “We are excited to collaborate again with VIY on what is our fourth project together and first in Wales. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished space and the benefits the refurbishments will bring to the local community.”