The Footprint Trust is an educational charity based on the Isle of Wight with many years of experience working with young people of all ages, in formal and informal settings. We came up the concept of the trend youth cafe having consulted with young people, and from our desire to bring out a greater understanding of environmental issues, particularly in relation to recycling and waste. The project was funded via the IW Council’s Youth Offer and The Footprint Trust. The charity was committed to continue to support the project as it moved towards becoming a peripatetic service post September 2017, however the lack of any funding has made that aim impossible.

The trend Upcycling youth cafe was a unique project, the first in the UK. Opening its doors in December 2014, it offered young people a safe place to go after school or college, with opportunities to take part in Upcycling of waste materials. The Newport-based TREND cafe project gave information and guidance on other assistance and support to young people. We worked with the Family Information Zone and other bodies to ensure that young people were sign-posted to the correct agencies for help if they required it. Trend opened its doors after school during term time, and offered activities in Newport and Cowes during holidays.

During its three-year history it adapted to the needs of the young people using its service, and tailored its service to their ideas and requirements. Having built up relations with regular attendees the staff and volunteers were able to talk about issues such as drugs and alcohol and sexual health matters. During the project’s life we increased young people’s awareness of the Youth Offer and other activities that are available locally and across the Island. A large with a large number of disadvantaged young people were engaged with. The skills learnt actively contributed to improving young people’s education. Many young people’s confidence and self-esteem improved. Through our guidance on smoking, alcohol and relationships etc we improved health and well-being of those taking part.

We would like to thank all those who supported this project, which closed in March 2017.

The Trust’s work continues with young people running activities in schools and during holidays.