'The Space' was not my idea. Full credit to this inspirational moment in the heart of Blackpool can and should only go to Ruby Coupe (aka Dotty Delightful) a local artist and community activist. She began the space by commandeering an empty building in the middle of the Red Light district of Blackpool, Cookson Street.
Along with some fellow passionate local volunteers and artists, they set about creating a space that had no agenda other than creating a human space for people to meet, share ideas, talk, learn and grow. It quickly became a place to deliver workshops, hold exhibitions, provide personal development (yoga, art classes, jamming music nights and much more).
After a few months, Dotty asked me if I would come and help both with telling the story of The Space but also in helping her to develop new ideas and provide what the community wanted by finding ways of helping them to explore their needs.
Project Status | Completed
We worked together for a year running this space that in 12 months saw over 4000 unique individuals attend many multiple times. We held more galleries for people at odds with or rejected from the closed local 'official' art scenes. We expanded our workshops, developed themed and none themed Storytelling sessions, brought incredible speakers and experts to deliver sessions alongside giving an opportunity for people just starting out in their new business, venture or grassroots projects. We also held occasional 'free food cafe's' and much more surprisingly without any money.
With zero funding support, we were able to run this space for over a year and be open 3 to 4 days per week and some evenings. Donations went towards bills, our rent (on account of Dotty's efforts) was free for a year. Our Friday Story Sharing Day became our most popular feature and over time everyone who came began to bring food and cake to share. I was very happy with the selection of home-baked cakes I was able to sample at my time working with Dotty at The Space, very happy indeed.
Human connection is beautiful.