Young people from across Stockport were treated to an evening of celebration to acknowledge their achievements from attending weekly ‘R Time’ sessions during the first year of the local project.
‘R Time’ is a three-year project funded by the National Lottery’s Community Fund and delivered by a range of local partners. There is an emphasis on engaging harder to reach young people and the project provides training and upskilling opportunities to not only young people but also local residents, volunteers within the community and colleagues from partner organisations.
The event was held at Edgeley Park on Thursday, November 7, and welcomed almost 100 people on the night, offering a wide range of fun activities including VR Gaming, health & beauty workshops, bread making, DJ workshops led by DJ Mello and army careers advice. The evening also featured a talk on knife crime awareness and provided advice on local weapon amnesty opportunities as well as consulting with the youngsters around shaping future years of the project.
Partners from the ‘R Time’ project attending included Stockport Homes, the Stockport Youth Offending Service, The Cherry Tree Project, Heaton Norris Community Centre, Stockport College, Saz Media, Mister Barber and Barbers Against Blades. Rising Stars attended and treated guests to a fantastic performance, with ‘R Time’ participants also having the opportunity to display and exhibit pieces of work they had completed throughout the year.
Special thanks to PIE (Pursuing Individual Excellence), Families Against Violence, Nadia Ali and Stockport Homes for helping to plan and co-ordinate the event with Life Leisure.
Susan Scott, Team Manager for the Stockport Youth Offending Service, commented: “It was great to see so many young people in one place finding out about the projects and services on offer to them, benefitting from the funding provided through the ‘R Time’ project. It’s also been really beneficial for establishing stronger partnerships with the various agencies involved in the project”.
The ‘R Time’ project has had great success within its first year with over 1,300 young people attending activities, and 10 different projects funded through the Special Projects pot (with one round left to go with the deadline at the end of November). In addition, two youth panels have been created and a wide variety of training courses delivered in a number of areas – with Youth Mental Health First Aid a key priority.
Malcolm McPhail, Group CEO at Life Leisure, commented: “We’re delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised our community engagement work and that they have committed to helping us expand our local projects and reach, allowing us to have a greater impact for the young people of Stockport.
Not only can we increase the scale of our local community work, we will also be able to improve overall standards and effectiveness. It’s hugely important, in this day and age and I’ve always been a firm believer that young people need to be positively engaged and understand that they are valued in their community so they can continue their individual and social development.”
Picture: Full parental permission has been provided