Almost 10,000 young people, aged between 8 and 17, enjoyed over 2,500 activities as part of the Staffordshire Commissioner’s Space programme this summer. There were over 22,000 attendances at events, equating to over 43,000 hours.
The summer programme brings together public, voluntary and private sector organisations to provide fun, positive activities for vulnerable young people. It is funded in the main by Proceeds of Crime funding with a contribution by Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service, and aims to help increase young people’s skills, improve their health and wellbeing and create opportunities, while also aiming to reduce levels of anti-social behaviour (ASB).
Since being relaunched, Space has gone from strength to strength, with a 75% reduction in youth ASB during the summer period since 2016. 1,395 reports of youth-related ASB were recorded during the school summer holidays in 2016 compared to 353 in 2023.
Last summer, almost 11,000 young people enjoyed over 2,500 Space activities. There were over 21,000 attendances at events, equating to over 47,000 hours.
Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime Ben Adams said: “The Space programme gives Staffordshire Police and partners an opportunity to engage with young people who may be going through a difficult time, helping to support and develop them through positive activities.
“The feedback from everyone who attended or supported this year’s programme has been inspiring to hear, with many young people trying activities for the first time or learning new life skills.”
The programme received positive feedback from young people, their parents, guardians or carers and activity providers:
- “These young people got to take part in many sports that they may not otherwise have got the chance to try, seeing them go from children who were very wary at the start of the activity to having a go. As we had the same young people attend each session, this enabled them to develop a new-found skill and grow in confidence each time. This enabled them to discover a new interest which they can take into adulthood, eg learning to ride a bike.”
- “X looks forward to the football camp – she’s never played football before.”
- “I enjoyed it, it was the first time I attended. I have learnt to be more open to other people and make more friends.”
- “Once again, the partnership approach had much more of a meaningful impact on the young people, with greater legacy outcomes from learning new life skills and working with different role models… Canoeing sessions had groups which supported one another, so the older children had to support the younger children, which taught them how rewarding being responsible can be.”
- “This year, we based our delivery on ability not age, so the children received a much more beneficial session to expand on their skills and feel more comfortable with all non-riders learning together, and those with existing skills improving their riding. Every session was fully attended and young people requested more sessions as they gained so much from it.”
- “It’s brilliant something positive is being put on for the children.”
- “What a great summer. All three of my children have had fun doing various activities each week, excellent activity programme and easy to book onto sessions.”