2019 Open Your Space Finalists Announced…

We are pleased to announce our 5 finalists have now been selected in this year’s Open Your Space Awards.  The Awards are open to all UK Secondary Schools as well as our BookingsGuru and BookingsPlus customers and aim to recognise string partnerships between schools or community venues and their local community.

This years finalists are a mixture of schools, community centres and registered charities.  Find out more about each of the nominations below:

Poynton High School, Stockport

Being involved with the community and understanding the local needs is an important focus for us and we are proud to share our school resources to help support such a large number of students, their families and other members of the neighbourhood. Our hub building plays a central role in running the local youth club which involves sport, music and arts based activities as well as after-school education and mentoring classes tailored toward students who may need additional help with the core subjects.

We are passionate about helping families with varying levels of needs and from disadvantaged backgrounds to maximise their potential. So, we initiated the ‘G8way Project’ to help provide this extra support. We work in close partnership with many local businesses who use our school facilities to come in and deliver drop-in sessions, including CV/employee advice for the parents as well coaching slots for young people. We also host our own ‘Business mentor cluster’ session which provides an opportunity for local businesses to meet up, share ideas and organise team building exercises.

These partnerships have created a fantastic learning environment for everyone involved, and it is so rewarding to know how much of a difference it is making to our community.


Haydon School, Pinner, London

At our Academy, we pride ourselves on helping our students to develop resilience and inspire others. The community, both in school, and beyond is very important to us and we continue to find new opportunities to work with local groups and partners when it comes to hiring out our facilities for all the community to share.

We work with a variety of different groups and clubs to get the maximum usage of our school facilities, and it’s fantastic to see so many of our students benefit and participate in additional activities outside of the school day.

We thoroughly enjoy working with regular hirers and last year was no exception. Our positive relationship with the local Eastcote Cricket Club has grown and we are thrilled to now be part of a successful sporting partnership. Since working with the club, we have seen the installation of four new high-quality indoor cricket nets which will not only benefit our students but also the community members of the club. We look forward to our exciting journey ahead with our current and future partnerships.


Worcester Community Centre, Worcester

We are a Community Trust charity that manages six community hubs and ten projects that offer support to vulnerable or disadvantaged people. The charity was formed in 2010 with a vision of realising communities’ potential by enabling children, young people and families to access a wide range of positive activities, opportunities and experiences, offering early support and fuelling aspirations.

Last year, we reached over 4500 vulnerable people through the multiple projects we ran across our community centres and facilities. Some examples of the projects we completed include ‘The Building Block’ which offered an approved training course, allowing individuals to gain skills in plastering and electrical, ‘Community Connectors’ project which delivered drop-in sessions to support the socially isolated and ‘WCT Youth’ project which provided positive opportunities for young people to create a greater sense of community and responsibility.

We work in close partnerships with all of the groups who help support our projects and we feel so lucky that our facilities can be used to make a significant impact towards improving mental wellbeing, enhancing lives and bringing people in the community together.


Pelton Community Centre, County Durham

Our community centre is open seven days a week and we act as a standalone charity that offers a number of activities, fundraisers and events throughout the year that are accessible for children and families of all ages. We have around 50 groups a week that hire our facilities, and our footfall is just over 1,800 people. As a result, community engagement is very important to us.

We have several partnerships with local groups including the council, NHS and other charities that we work with to provide a mixture of classes, including supporting local franchises/social enterprises and individual wellbeing. Recently, we helped support the Hawthorne Project which included two drop-in sessions a week, designed to combat social isolation and loneliness and provide an opportunity for residents to meet other people.

This year we hosted our successful summer programme offered to young people and their families during the six week school holidays, which included running between four – five sporting and crafts activity sessions a week. We had around 40 children and their families join us throughout the holidays and it was great to see everyone getting involved.


St Mary Islington Community Partnership, Islington, London

At our community centre, we all believe in the benefit of being better connected, meeting and mixing with people from different backgrounds to our own. We offer a range of youth and community services, which we deliver in partnership with local groups and charities to help provide support and create opportunities for all local residents.

We have recently collaborated with a neighbourhood charity, Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants and, since our partnership, we have helped facilitate over 2000 visits a week. As part of this, we hosted a variety of activities including exercise and education classes for the young, health and wellbeing sessions to support people with poor mental health and social and community building events that help support the elderly and isolated.

At St Mary’s we also have an innovative youth work approach which creates opportunities for young people to develop social skills and foster positive relationships with the local schools and community around them. This is all designed to help create a more cohesive and engaged neighbourhood.

The winner will receive a cash prize of £8,000 to spend on a project of their choice and will be announced on Monday 11th November.