Hayes young adults supported by new teen space

Wednesday 6 September 2023: Hillingdon Council's new teen room at Botwell Green Library is proving popular with hundreds of young people in Hayes who have been making good use of the dedicated space after school, throughout exam time and during the summer holidays.

Two teenage boys using a guitar and other music equipment in Teen Room at Botwell Green Library
In the spring, an under-utilised staff office at the site was transformed into a flexible safe space for teens, following the library's successful bid for £10,000 community grant funding from the Greater London Authority. 

As part of its bid, the council set out how conversations with local people had shown a need for something at the library to help engage and occupy local teenagers. It pitched the room as a space for young people to come together to relax, learn about their history, access useful services and express themselves creatively.  

The project has proved extremely successful with hundreds of young people using the room since it opened in April, including 88 during the first two weeks of the summer holidays. 

The facility is helping to bring the community together and supports young people's health and wellbeing by providing educational and socialising opportunities in a safe space. 

The room has bean bags, a sofa, rugs and wall hangings. There are three unofficial areas: the 'chillout' area with a PlayStation 5 games console and a variety of the latest games, projected onto a screen. Another corner is for practising, creating, performing and recording music, with an electric guitar and amp, mixers, a microphone and recording equipment. The third area is for crafting, it has a corner desk with art provisions such as paints and canvases, scratch art, hama beads and more. 

Kieran, age 12 and from Hillingdon, said: "It is a great room, very cosy. I like the PlayStation, the air hockey and LED lights in the room. It is a good idea for teenagers and not something I would expect in a library! It is such a great place to relax and socialise." 

The council also invites other young people's services to deliver activities and workshops from the space to help provide support and enhance skills.  

Cllr Eddie Lavery, Hillingdon Council's Cabinet Member for Residents' Services, said: "I'm pleased to see how busy the teen room at Botwell Green Library has been since it was introduced. 

"Our library strategy outlines the council's commitment to finding different ways to promote the service and attract new visitors by investing in buildings and facilities to improve customer experience and providing more opportunities for residents to engage with arts, culture, learning and wellbeing.  

"This space encapsulates just that, offering a welcoming environment for our young people to play, relax, socialise and learn, which in turn creates safer and stronger communities and thriving, healthy households." 

For more information about the facility, visit: www.hillingdon.gov.uk/botwellgreenlibrary 

Page last updated: 15 Feb 2024