New creative storytelling space to engage south-east London community

The world’s first video magazine is putting down roots. GUAP (Great Understanding and Power) magazine will open GUAP Spot, a creative space to engage the community, in south-east London this December.

For the next six years Peckham Levels will transform an underused car park in South East London into a creative workshop that will connect to the local community. The space will be filled with entrepreneurs, artists and makers as well as an open space for the public.

GUAP magazine is one of the creative businesses using the opportunity to take on studio space, thanks to funding from UnLtd’s Spaces4Change programme. GUAP is a magazine focused on shining a light on young entrepreneurial and creative talent.

“There’s people in our society doing things. There’s people in our society that can be seen as inspiration….we need to start appreciating those people, appreciating the talent around us, appreciating the talent in our reach”.

As a magazine GUAP is a bit different. It’s the world’s first video magazine and is committed to engaging young people in everything they do.

“There are loads of young people doing amazing things and building amazing platforms”, says Shanice Mears GUAP’s brand manager, “But no one has created a video magazine and no one has then built a platform that engages young people from any- and every- where with that”

The space

GUAP Spot will be the new home of the GUAP platform and aims to provide a safe space for young people to create. Inside GUAP Spot will be a studio as well as an open space.

According to Shanice, “It’s a chameleon space for us and our platform. We want to be able to offer not just space, but opportunity to people who might not have the access otherwise.”

Creativity and storytelling are central to what GUAP want to do, it can be a powerful way of supporting young people.

“From the moment we started it’s always been about the untold, the unseen, that unforgettable talent that doesn’t get showcased.”

“There’s people in our society doing things. There’s people in our society that can be seen as inspiration….we need to start appreciating those people, appreciating the talent around us, appreciating the talent in our reach”.

Community too is a big part of what they want to do. “We think that it’s necessary to build a real space that can engage with the community and beyond.”

How people use the space will be relatively fluid and for good reason. Young people can use the space “in anyway they want as long as its for the better of themselves and community”.

 

How they got there?

Thanks to support from UnLtd’s Spaces4Change GUAP received funding and business advice which helped make GUAP Spot a reality.

Spaces4Change is a programme funded by Our Bright Future and the Big Lottery Fund. It aims to find, fund, support and connect young people aged 16 - 24 to start and run social ventures that unlock the potential of unused or underutilised space.

For the next two years, Spaces4Change will support 100 young leaders with up to £5,000 in project funding, dedicated support and peer-to-peer networking opportunities for sharing knowledge.

Through Spaces4Change they worked with crowdfunding platform, Spacehive, to raise further funding for equipment and renovation costs. The experience of crowdfunding wasn’t easy, but GUAP guys remains positive, “it was good it was something we were all fairly new to, and the first 5 hours of support was mad!”. It was also a success. Thanks to just five backers GUAP Spot raised over £3,600.

Any online platform would find creating a physical space a challenge, but Shanice is confident they can handle it. “We do events all the time so we know what it’s like hiring venues, and sourcing the necessary equipment. Even though we are online we know the feeling of dealing with clients and subcontracting things in real life.”

GUAP’s magazine was a unique way of revolutionizing how you engage with people, GUAP Spot looks set to connect with and empower young people to be creative. “We all have stories to tell, but not all know how to tell it. We want to help people create and tell their stories.”

All images c/o Pernod Ricard and The Distillery London

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Spaces 4 Change (S4C) is a UK wide programme that will find, fund, support and connect young people aged 16-24 to start and run social ventures that unlock the potential of unused or under-utilised spaces for the benefit of the local community, especially other young people.

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