Almost 11,000 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 21,000 attendances at events, equating to over 47,000 hours.
The summer programme brought together public, voluntary and private sector organisations to provide fun, positive activities for vulnerable young people to help increase their 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. When the programme began in 2016, 1,395 reports of youth related ASB were recorded during the school summer holidays compared to 354 in 2022.
Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime, Ben Adams said: “After a difficult two years for everyone it was wonderful to see such a vast array of activities put on by the Space scheme and witness the joy on the young people’s faces when taking part. Almost 11,000 young people, over 4,000 more than 2021, took part in Space this year and the feedback has been inspiring to hear.
“These activities are all about providing an opportunity for Staffordshire Police and partners to engage with young people who may be going through a difficult time to help nurture, support and develop them. I am already looking forward to seeing what Space 2023 has in store.”
The programme received positive feedback from young people, their parents, guardians or carers and activity providers, who praised the scheme for helping turn young people’s lives around.
Anonymous feedback demonstrates how the scheme does this:
“The activities gets X up early in the mornings, he gets washed dressed and eats his breakfast and out of the house eagerly looking forward to days full of activities and seeing all of the friends that he has made there. It has helped tremendously to help him to stay on track, as otherwise he would of sat at home bored sitting around the house and he does have a history of self-harming which he has not done at all throughout the summer holidays. He benefits from the rules, boundaries and regulations that you set for all of the children as this teaches him right from wrong so as he understands what kind of behaviour is acceptable within society. The scheme has kept him happy and eager to get up each day so I truly thank you for all of the hard work that you put into helping all of the children as they are our future.”
“X absolutely loved this summer with you guys, all your staff have been so kind and helpful, and the activities have been so good to keep him entertained all summer. He loved the inflatables, rock wall, ninja warrior, going to the commonwealth games and your day-to-day football and golf!! Without you guys we wouldn’t have been able to keep him going all summer.”
“I have 4 children and my eldest child having adhd, this often comes with numerous challenges. The team have been amazing, providing activities for them all, as well as working closely with my eldest with fantastic, positive outcomes, I really can’t thank everyone enough.”
“Some of these young people had some challenging behaviours but the families felt that the team were able to work together to ensure we could manage and work with the carers to get the best outcomes.”
The parents from a residential trip “felt their children had learnt something new and for some it was a first to make a meal, use a hoover, make a bed and even make their own drinks- A massive opportunity for the young people to learn, grow and become more independent and feel safer in their own life.”
“There were a number of referrals from X school. These young people had very challenging behaviours and would try to abscond and at times were confrontational to the team. However again the team worked together, put in strategies alongside the carers and parents and the young people attended the full two weeks. One parent said it is the first time they have ever attended something and not been thrown out.”
“XXX were happy that they got to meet other young people before starting their new school and this made them feel more confident”