The Staffordshire Space Scheme has been boosted by a donation from local businesses in Stoke-on-Trent. The money donated will assist with providing meals and refreshments for young people, including some who regularly rely on free school meals during term time.
Unitas, a repairs and maintenance company, alongside local contractors Lewis Brothers, who provide roofing services, and Gun-point, a re-pointing service, have donated £1,900 to the 2022 Space programme.
The Space summer programme brings together public, voluntary and private sector organisations to provide enjoyable, positive activities for young people that increase their skills, improve their health and wellbeing and create opportunities, while also aiming to reduce levels of anti-social behaviour (ASB) during the school summer holidays.
In 2021, over 6,000 young people, aged between 8 and 17, enjoyed over 1,400 activities funded by the Staffordshire Commissioner as part of the Space programme. There were over 17,600 attendances at events, equating to over 35,333 hours.
Space 2022 will begin on 25 July and end on 26 August, offering a variety of activities including swimming and gym passes, multi-sports and park events, trips out and arts and crafts.
Space was relaunched in 2015 and has since gone from strength to strength, with a 77% 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, compared to 320 in 2021.
Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime, Ben Adams said: ‘Space clearly makes a difference, providing memorable experiences for many while diverting some away from potential involvement in low-level crime and anti-social behaviour.
‘I’m delighted to receive such a generous donation from Unitas, Lewis Brothers and Gun-point. This money will assist in providing refreshments during the school summer break to the young people attending Space activities, including some who may regularly rely on the provision of free school meals.
‘Space provides 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, and this is why I have committed to Space running for a further three years.’
Wayne Booth, Director of Unitas Stoke-on-Trent Ltd, added: ‘Unitas is Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s repair and maintenance company and carries out repairs and maintenance for more than 18,000 homes and approximately 600 public buildings across the city.
‘Unitas is committed to supporting the community and improving the wellbeing of residents within Stoke-on-Trent. We are delighted that our Helping Hands donation will be used to support the Space scheme 2022 and give something back to young people within Stoke-on-Trent. Our Helping Hands Fund is made up from money received from weighing in scrap metal and holding fundraising events.’
Details of activities, including how to book, will be available on the Space website in July. Please keep checking to see what activities are being added for your area and sign up for the Space newsletter to receive notifications.
Find out more: www.staffordshirespace.uk