Our mosaics revitalise outside of WAP
A partnership between us and Weston Adventure Playground (WAP) assisted by our young people from the area has helped revamp and regenerate WAP’s exterior.
Working together throughout the past year, we’ve revitalised the facility helped by youngsters who handmade a series of mosaics for the project.
Our Project Manager, Libbi Hammond explains: “WAP in Hurstbourne Place, known locally as The Venny, is one of the best and most versatile community buildings in Weston. It was last refurbished in 2000 and it had begun to look very tired, especially on the outside. It did not look particularly inviting and, if you were walking past, you'd think it was a disused building, but it is a huge asset to the area.
“As part of our Big Lottery funding, we were looking to run a project that enabled the community as a whole to get involved. We use WAP for some of our clubs, have our office there and the kids love the space, so we thought the exterior of the building was something that would really benefit from our joint expertise and input, and giving the outside walls a refresh with mosaics seemed like the perfect solution.
“We knew a mosaic artist, Will Rosie, with whom we had previously worked and has created some beautiful pieces, which have really helped to transform areas. Back in 2017, I discussed it with our Fun to Engage worker, Dean Waters, who would ultimately be co-ordinating it, and approached Will and the trustees of both WCYP and WAP to see what they thought. They loved the idea and we got approval from Big Lottery to use the money in this way and subsided it with funds from our Southampton City Council grant and set our plans in motion!
“The difference it has made to the feel of the place is wonderful, it’s much more welcoming and has given it a bit of life! The fun that was had designing and creating the mosaics was amazing too. Also, the way in which it gave young people the opportunity to contribute to somewhere they spend a lot of time, so they could feel proud of what they've achieved, was brilliant.”
Now the outside has been completed and was recently officially unveiled by Woolston & Weston’s Councillor, Warwick Payne.
Cllr Payne says: “I was delighted to open the mosaics at The Venny. Living locally, I often visit the venue with my daughter who loves playing there, and the new artwork will make it all the more special.
“It’s good that Will Rosie has been involved with the project, as he’s spearheaded several similar schemes across Southampton with the council and I’ve been impressed with those previous efforts.
“For any families in Weston who haven’t visited The Venny before, I’d thoroughly recommend it, as there’s plenty of fun, WCYP ensures there’s lots to do, and now there are new mosaics to see as well.”
WAP also wanted to paint the big outside wall of the building where the mosaics would be displayed. It asked our young people to vote on what colour they thought it should be. They picked a vibrant lime green, which works well as it blends into the woods and helps make the mosaics eye-catching.
WAP’s Secretary, Colin Day says: “The Trustees of the Venny are delighted with their partnership with WCYP and the huge increase in attendance of local young people this has brought about. The idea of the mosaics was theirs and we really appreciate the artistry and the local community involvement. Well done to all involved.”