Last week however we finally held the official opening of the new building complete with ribbon cutting and over 100 guests from across the sector. The event had a real party vibe as guests entered the court yard by walking the red carpet whilst champagne was served.

Young people who are currently working with YG, on one of our training programmes that aims to prepare them for work, were on hand to give tours of the new building. Groups of guests were taken around the space which includes over 20 rooms made up of one-to-one counselling spaces, conference rooms, large break out spaces, kitchens and even a garden complete with fruit trees. The piece de resistance though has to be the newly refurbished ‘wellbeing zone.’ Designed as a tranquil paradise, the tree lined space fills the centre of the new building. Hanging chairs are surrounded by cascading greenery, the sound of water and lit by a waterfall backdrop. The space provides a unique atmosphere to encourage calmness and creativity for both staff and young people.

After a whistle-stop tour, guests were encouraged to explore the various rooms and were given the opportunity to talk to YG staff about their projects and even try out a few fun activities like mini-hoop basketball, brain teasers and feeling boards to help open discussions and give them a taste of the way we work.

Tracy Clark CEO of Young Gloucestershire said “It was so lovely to see the building buzzing with people – we were full to the rafters, it is great to know so many people are interested in young people’s services. YG are keen collaborators and working in partnerships is key to many of our successes. Tonight was a really brilliant way to bring everyone together especially after such a tough year.”

There were gorgeous canapés on offer before a host of speeches, the first being from The Chair of YG’s Board of Trustees - Mark Sheridan. Mark spoke about how this day had been long anticipated and how pleased and proud he was of the work that had already taken place in the new building and the potential for great things to come. Mark was followed and slightly upstaged by two young people, Olivia and Tish who took it in turns to talk about the support they have received from YG and how the charity has helped them take leaps forward in their lives. It was a beautiful moment when Olivia held the crowd in applause and laughter with her now infamous quote “If someone had told me a year ago I would have been stood in front of a crowd like this making a speech, I would have told them to…..F*#k off!” Although her fruity language was unexpected it resonated and helped the crowd understand just how far Olivia had come, previously suffering low self-esteem, agoraphobia and a lack of direction.

The event ended with a beautiful sunset over the iconic Gloucester Docks – YG’s new home. A perfect end to what was a truly fabulous event. YG would like to thank all those who attended and all the staff and young people that helped make this such a wonderful celebration. We are incredibly excited about what the year ahead will hold!