The Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire and Rescue and Crime has been overwhelmed by the support for this year’s Space activities.
Matthew Ellis has publicly thanked all the voluntary groups, local organisations, councils, police, fire service personnel and everybody involved in Space 2018 across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
This year’s Space was the most ambitious and successful yet with around a record number of places for eight-to-17-year-olds being filled during the school summer holiday period.
Mr Ellis brought back a modern version of the summer activities programme in 2015, some three decades after the original one ceased.
Back in the 1980s it was led by police but the current Space, which ran from late July to August 31 this year, was coordinated by the Commissioner’s Office and delivered by local organisations and volunteers.
The Commissioner said: ‘When I brought Space back in 2015 I couldn’t have imagined the success and the scale it would be in 2018.
‘Valuing youngsters, providing new experiences and encouraging responsible citizenship is at the heart of what I hoped for.
‘Of course, it’s also about fun, being active, trying new things and enjoying time together. It also gives the chance for public bodies and all involved to get to know young people in a different way through sport, cultural and other activities.
‘This has been the best Space since its relaunch with 1500 events across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent and hopefully around 25,000 attendances by young people between eight-to-17-years-old. I am grateful to everyone involved for making it such a success.’
Mark Sutton, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Staffordshire County Council, said: ‘It’s brilliant news that this year’s Space scheme has been so popular allowing thousands of young people to take part in such a wide range of activities.
‘Giving young people the opportunity to take part in these activities is really important and can have a positive impact on their development.
‘Furthermore, our Youth Offending Service worked hard with young people and their families to actively encourage them to take part in the activities provided.
‘I would also like to add my thanks to our partners in the voluntary sector and all the volunteers who helped co-ordinate the scheme and make it such a success.’
During last year’s Space, reports of antisocial behaviour by young people fell by 38 per cent and early indications are that 2018 will see an even bigger reduction.
The National Citizen Service were a key delivery partner and Rose Gardner, Strategic Partnership Manager at Learn By Design believes that inspiring young people early in their lives is important for their future.
She said: ‘It was fantastic to see our young people embrace Space and harness a whole range of different skills to design and deliver their own event.
‘We look forward to building on this success and delivering more opportunities over the coming months and years through the establishment of a unique, strong, collaborative and exciting pathway for young people across the county.’