Feedback from organisations involved in the Space young people’s activity programme has highlighted its successes and impact across Stafford borough.
Space was originally an activities scheme led by police in Staffordshire aimed at engaging young people before it stopped in the 1990s.
The Space programme in 2015, reinvented by Staffordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis, was aimed at increasing skills, improving health and wellbeing, and creating opportunities for young people to take part in positive activities to help make communities safer. Space events, which were led by voluntary sector organisations and local councils rather than the police, took place between 20 July and 4 September 2015 across Staffordshire.
There were almost 13,000 attendances by young people across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent at over 580 activities, which were funded by the PCC’s office and local councils. A Proof of Concept report, which can be read at www.staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk/space, highlights the
“significant positive feedback”
from local authorities, businesses, communities and young people themselves about Space.
Across Stafford borough there were 2,286 recorded attendances by young people aged between 11 and 17 at activities including woodwork, dancing and boxing.
The Commissioner said he would like to see Space be able to return this summer and provide a launch-pad for more volunteering alongside young people – but work in this area was still needed.
Mr Ellis said:
“I am delighted with what Space achieved in 2015. Nearly 13,000 young people took part in nearly 600 activities. It’s great that because of Space there were many more positive sport and fun activities for young people to do over the long summer holidays.
“Young people and the organisations that took part said it was good and everything about Space 2015 highlighted the two-way commitment which is developing well between my office and other partners around the community safety agenda.
“I’d like to once again thank all the organisations that stepped up to do Space in 2015 despite the really short notice.
“The Proof of Concept report shows there were many benefits to young people and communities but I’d still like to hear people’s thoughts about Space at www.staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk/space/ ”
Councillor Jeremy Pert, Cabinet Member for Communities at Stafford Borough Council, said:
“I am delighted that young people, based on the feedback received from both the organisations and the young people themselves, seem to have had a great time and that last summer’s Space scheme was an enormous success and that Stafford Borough Council was able to support this valuable scheme.
“These kinds of initiatives are a good way of engaging young people in positive activities throughout the summer break.”
The Proof of Concept report said Space 2015 “provided a universal and targeted offer during the summer school holiday period, promoting personal, health and social development, teambuilding and new experiences across Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent.”
The report added:
“Significant positive feedback has also been received from local partners, businesses, the community and young people themselves.
“The Space 2015 proof of concept approach is considered to have been successful, with opportunities for learning and development duly noted.”