Roundpeg helps Bridge the Gap with new outdoor building to support young people

Derby-based Bridge the Gap, which provides a safe space for young people to get support with their mental health, now has a new building on its allotment at the YMCA Wilmorton Community Gardens
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Young people struggling with their mental health have been given their own garden getaway thanks to a Midlands-based outdoor building business.

Roundpeg Outdoor Buildings has donated one of their buildings to Bridge the Gap Child Mental Health C.I.C. after wanting to provide a safe place for young people to get the help they need.

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It has now taken pride of place in the YMCA Wilmorton Community Gardens, in Derby, the building is fully insulated so will provide shelter for the children all year round, to work in, with Bridge the Gap it also incorporates a tool shed to enable work on the allotment to start in time for spring.

Nikki Webster, of Bridge the Gap, receiving the keys from Sallyann Smith, of Roundpeg.Nikki Webster, of Bridge the Gap, receiving the keys from Sallyann Smith, of Roundpeg.
Nikki Webster, of Bridge the Gap, receiving the keys from Sallyann Smith, of Roundpeg.

Sallyann Smith, co-director of Roundpeg, which creates bespoke outdoor buildings that can be used as offices, businesses, or as an extra space within the garden, explained that the company wanted to do something to give back to the community to help young people and Bridge the Gap proved the perfect organisation.

Derby-based Bridge the Gap helps children explore and understand their emotions in a safe space. It teaches them how to respond to different emotions and supports them as they put strategies into action.

It was started by Nikki Webster and Jennifer Wyman as they could see that children in Derby needed help.

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It offers a unique relationship focused, holistic, emotional support service and this new outdoor building will offer another room for the charity to continue helping more young people as demand for its services continues to grow.

Sallyann, who founded Roundpeg with business partner Adam Timmis five years ago, said: “Both Adam and I have loved being able to support Bridge the Gap and it feels great to be able to donate a building to really help with this new project. Bridge the Gap really focuses on the needs of the children, they really go above and beyond.

“This will be a nice and safe space for the children, and it fits within its environment. There are lots of benefits for children being outside in the fresh air and learning about growing their own food, so this is perfect. A lot of children don’t get the chance to go out and just be in the garden.”

The idea started last year when Roundpeg looked at what it could do to help others in the community and approached Bridge the Gap to see if it was interested in one of their outdoor buildings.

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Roundpeg, which is based in Yoxall, Staffordshire, started looking at locations with Bridge the Gap, Sallyann explained that at first they thought about fitting it in a school before coming up with the idea of putting it on the allotment, which the YMCA had given to Bridge the Gap a few months before.

It took two days for Roundpeg to install the 18’ x 10’ (5.4m x 3.04m) timber building and then Bridge the Gap added its own touches to it.

Sallyann added: “We always love seeing what people do to the buildings after we have left, but to help Bridge the Gap we factory painted it in Moorland Green, to fit in with the environment, fitted flooring and internal boarding, the windows and doors are double glazed to it should be perfect for all year round use”.

Nikki Webster, director of Bridge the Gap, said the building will enable the organisation to do more mindfulness activities outside and provide space to help more young people wanting to access its services as well as gardening activities.

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She said: “I love this building, absolutely love it. It’s just what we needed. The community gardens allow us to have space outdoors.

“We’re incredibly grateful and it means a lot because we can see how it will help. The kids that are going to come here are vulnerable and many don’t have access to gardens.

“Our headquarters in Friar Gate doesn’t have the outdoor space and a lot of children do not have space to run around at home.

“Being outdoors is really beneficial for mental health. We’ve also run out of space and there is a rise in demand as young people are struggling across the city so this gives us an extra building.”

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Bridge the Gap works with people up to the age of 18 in a safe environment.

The older teenagers also volunteer to help out with the younger ones and they have already shown an interest in gardening clubs and mindfulness outside sessions at the allotment.

Nikki added: “We’re in a mental health crisis. We see 180 kids a week and 99 percent of that is related to school pressure. Screen time and social media is also contributing. There’s a massive rise in social anxiety because they are not used to talking to each other.”

Matt Taylor, the Youth and Community manager at YMCA Derbyshire, who offered the allotment to Bridge the Gap said: “It is important to teach children more about where food comes from as well as helping adults and young people with supporting their health.

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“We’re here to help and support the community and build people up. We know that what Roundpeg has done for Bridge the Gap will help them continue its work supporting young people.”

The new outdoor building will be officially opened on March 22.

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