Turin | Italy
Spazi Virtuale (Virtual Spaces)
“Aria – Spazi Reali” is a project of the City of Turin realised in co-design with organisations working on the city’s territory for young people. The project was set up about 30 years ago as a psychological counselling desk for young people (14-21 years old), but over the years it has expanded and diversified its offers and proposals to meet the needs of young people, in parallel with the evolution of their interests. The aim of the project is to provide young people in Turin (14-28 years old) with a place where they can listen, meet and exchange views with peers and professionals in the socioeducational psychological field.
• Psychological listening space.
•Radio programme writing and publishing workshop.
• Information desk on projects and cultural exchanges in the European Union.
• Italian language conversation groups for foreigners.
• English conversation groups (with European Erasmus+ volunteers).
• Information and discussion meetings on old and new addictions (substances, gambling, social media, etc.)
• Working groups on art projects.
•Orientation paths towards autonomy (study/home/work).
• Periodic competitions of ideas to activate initiatives and workshops on themes and proposals coming directly from the young people themselves.
The venue for the first spontaneous welcome and by appointment is Spazi Reali, located in Corso San Maurizio 4, inside the city park Giardini Reali.
In March 2020, following the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and the onset of the health crisis, the government imposed severe restrictions on social relations and the service was forced to reinvent itself. The priority was not to lose contact with the boys and girls who had attended the Corso San Maurizio and Via Giolitti 40/B locations in the previous months. The sudden lack of a meeting place at such a critical time could be destabilising. The experience of the service operators over the years has shown that young people in this phase of their lives need a place or a person as a referement in critical situations in order to give voice to their pain or discomfort. This is why the “Virtual Spaces” project was conceived in a short time, in order to take advantage of the shift from physical to digital services to maintain contact with young people and monitor their state of mind during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Due to the sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, there was not enough time to plan long-term actions. The proposed activities within the project started three weeks after the pandemic began. Between March 2020 and October 2021, a wide and varied proposal of initiatives was realised using the mixed mode (presence and online). From the outset, one of Aria’s objectives was to keep the office in Corso San Maurizio 4 open as much as possible, with the presence of a maximum of three operators and respecting health restrictions. In this way, young people could have a space to attend when there were not many activities in the city
• “Spazi Virtuali”. Group work via video call room where boys and girls are involved in different recreational activities depending on the day of the week.
• “Kick the Quarantine”: psychological listening desk with 9 psychologists specialised in adolescent psychology to help overcome the trauma of quarantine “Spazi d’Animo”: workshop on emotions led by Smiling Van project operators to help manage moods during the pandemic.
• “Emosuoni”: workshop on music and emotions led by Euphemia’s European volunteers.
• “Percezioni Giovani”: workshop on the theme of addictions, in particular cannabis use, organised by the ASL Turin Addiction Centre.
• “Orchestra Giulia”: course of lessons on music, organised by Associazione Orme.
• Activation of a Telegram group for those who frequent the environment of Spazi Reali.
• Publication of informative and participatory content on the Instagram channel: psychology pills, sharing photos and stories, etc.
• “Sportello del Neomaggiorenne”: orientation counter on the world of work and essential services (home, vocational training and leisure activities).
• “Laboratorio delle ragazze”: information meeting on taboos related to sexuality and menstruation.
• “Il reato, la pena e il carcere”: 4 meetings on the topic of justice and crime, in cooperation with the ComuniCARE project.
• Aperitifs and concerts.
• Information meetings and sharing initiatives and meanings on the main national holidays.
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