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[‘ENDZ’ – my home.

my neighbourhood. where I belong.]

#BELONG. #BELIEVE. #BECOME.

The SOT Youth Collective are looking to identify, transform & create innovative large-scale SPACES & PLACES - to enhance & resource local community youth offers but to  bring to life to a first landmark open access  iconic youth / community provision ’ with unequalled presence in the city, that will be intrinsic to early intervention & prevention, crime reduction ,gathering information, reacting to the ever-changing needs of young people, tackling negative youth culture, developing community cohesion, fostering social mobilisation, and, crucially, tackling disadvantage.

We are envisioning that ‘ENDZ’:ST1 will be the first of 6 & will be a dynamic, entrepreneurial pilot youth space to impact SOT young people & the wider community in significant ways to inspire a generation & positively shape society.

The project will be a CONSISTENT & RELIABLE ‘PRESENCE’ creating LEGACY - a 'collective initiative' with the intention over time to be replicated & modelled across the city bringing together like minded & like hearted people with the same ‘DNA’, to inspire a generation, shape youth culture & impact a decade.

The ENDZ concept is ‘one in its own envelope’, one of ‘overlapping uses’ all co-supporting each other in an innovative format that can deliver on innovative community engagement, generate income opportunity, and more importantly assist in playing a part in the positive repositioning of currently unoccupied spaces & creating assets, by bringing its own footfall within a commercial environment.

 

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Community led commercially aware ‘business case led’ regeneration is coming, and we think there is a real opportunity for Stoke to be innovative by being one of the first movers in this area. [local Business CEO]

 

The VENUE would ideally be a largescale flexible ‘warehouse’ or ‘open’  commercial style space with the floorspace to facilitate various youth focused ‘zones inside,‘ along with event capacity & potential outdoor space for sports & parking. The ‘zones’ although visibly succinct would have the flexibility to be ‘transient‘, but visually creative & progressive  in nature being able to be configured to the vision using innovative  ‘fluid’ installation & design approaches (in conjunction with local businesses) to allow for  ‘movement ‘ in which the partners can create a ‘psychologically informed space’ to deliver an innovative  plan of youth engagement  & community activities 7 days a week.

 

The vision, shaped & co-designed by young people though the SHAPE YOUR GEN youth voice derived from research over 18 months by young people that we feel exudes an unshakeable & relentless passion for this new initiative to emerge being visionary in nature envisioning not only bringing ‘Life’ to the physicality of the outskirts of the city centre by bringing ‘transformation’ to a well-located disused warehouse or similar building, but equally a measurable difference to the lives of young people.

This project will bring together operationally & strategically the ‘best of‘ the cities businesses, statutory & third sector organisations, voluntary & faith groups along with  key influencers & philanthropists to deliver an outstanding model of ‘embedded’ youth work that not only adds value to & resources existing local smaller community youth work offers, but have the ability to have longevity, be sustainable, impact social change & demonstrate social value , as well as impacting the local economy through enterprise delivering a transformed warehouse style space for young people, yet will contain ‘features’ as a gateway for the wider community.

It will be ‘HOME’ - a place of BELONGING & PURPOSE, inspirational, creative with ‘purposeful’ engagement, having with differentiated programs for 11-14 & 15 plus to foster safeguarding & offer appropriate targeted support.

The venue itself will feature engagement zones in a ’one stop shop’ type approach & be both accessible & inclusive fostering diverse needs, interests, skills, backgrounds & cultures.

The space will feature many facets that young people have requested such as:
 

  • An ‘Art & ’make’ zone 

  • Children’s play area (for teenage parents)

  • ‘Edu-tainment’ zone (gaming)

  • Community café

  • Deaf Café

  • Fitness /Health & wellbeing zone

  • ‘Home’ help desk (providing housing information & support)

  • Instant access mental health support zone

  • IT Digital suite

  • Lived experience mentor area

  • Multi agency office space for youth practitioners

  • Music Studio

  • Radio /podcast programming area hosted by Cross Rhythms community radio

  • Safe spaces’: LADZ Lounge [young men] /GLOW UP lounge [Girls] /ID (non  binary)

  • Sports area (football / basketball / cricket & multi sports area)

  • Start-up business incubator pods / enterprise

  • ‘Urban youth library:‘ Word up’:

  • Workshop Area

  • ’Youth chill-out’ zone (couches /pool /table tennis)

  • Youth /young adults retail (clothing, footwear & other)

  • Multi use ‘events ‘space for drug & alcohol free youth events/ drama performances

 

It would also where possible facilitate a multi-use events space as revenue creation.

The venue ‘event ‘area can also be hired out to bring in revenue, and multi-agency /practitioner office space to encourage effective communication, ’join the dots’ & create a progressive & positive ‘citywide’ dynamic.

The outstanding & iconic feature of this venue for the public to access alongside young people in the daytime is offering BUSINESS START UP INCUBATOR PODS to foster employability & increase employment chances especially in the current climate, to ‘inspire their futures’, where young people will be able to showcase their skills & talents, sell products through ‘ enterprise’ ,which will give them a ‘hand up’ not hand out.

It will foster entrepreneurial talent, identify potential, raise aspirations & impact their monetary income in positive ways – often the lack of, being the source of criminality derived from poverty especially in this climate.  These Pods could be supported by local business with mentoring & employment opportunities, therefore impacting the local economy & adding value to the work force.

The after school & night time program will provide not just access to the facilities, but a range of diverse pre-arranged activities a robust workshop program that infuses self-worth, fosters self-belief & raises aspirations including wrap around support from LIVED EXPERIENCE mentors on-site, trained counsellors (North Staffs Mind & Changes are willing to provide trained counsellors on site for ‘instant access’ for young people) & then a night time ‘after tea’ program  competitive with the night time economy, intended to be more engaging than  'street culture' offers & provide a diversion towards gang land activity, fostering violence & crime reduction.

The venue would work with a local security company, Staffs Police, the IOM (gangs & violence unit) & lived experience leaders who will work within this project to ‘manage risk’, providing effective interventions, along with local police & the safeguarding board.

Locationally, this would be walking distance to young people of around the city centre area & outskirts .We are aware of the issues around transport issues within the city therefore the ultimate aim is to reproduce this quality assured model across other communities so that EVERY young person is within 15 minutes of a quality youth provision & until we can  provide this model  we would endeavour to work with local transport companies to ensure our program tied in with transport timetables,(for any older young person ) who wanted to travel to engage in participation, along with the potential of co-ordinated mini bus transport from other communities.

Regarding Transport, Ruff & Ruby urban youth charity piloted a youth initiative 18 moths ago called FIERCE with local high schools, where we saw parents & carers confidently bring young people to a selection of youth events (positive music with a positive message) to a venue in the city centre using their own transport- so this informed learning tells us that people do actually travel , if they have the mobility to , IF the provision is quality, safe & worth travelling for - so we feel this is a positive ‘interim’ solution  to issues regarding youth  access outside of the initial provision geographical area, prior to being able to initiate other pro-modelled projects around the wider city. 

 

 

 

 

 

#THENEED

 

SOT is well documented in various profiled media tabloids as being ‘one of the worst ‘ places to live’ & from our research & feedback daily in local  high schools & our city centre community hub – this IS ‘what young people think’ – they feedback to us ‘ There’s no opportunities , nothing to do, & ‘once I get old enough...I’m off!’ - Stoke is S***’.  (Liam, 15) ‘ I might as well deal drugs as there’s nothing  to do’  (Jermaine, 14) .These quotes are a key insight into a high percentage of  ‘youth opinion ‘ / feedback from young people in our city. We support hundreds of young people on a daily basis & a significant amount  of our work is around helping to raise personal self perception & aspirations but also tackling city perceptions, that are embedded, often derived from generational worklessness & despondent mindset. 

 

Statistically... Stoke-on-Trent has an overall population of 255,378, 24% of which are aged between 0 – 18 years old. The baseline data for the 2019 Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) suggests that Stoke-on-Trent is the 13th most deprived area in the country. There are, inclusive, just over 17,000 13–19-year-olds in Stoke (LA figures / Rachel Dodd). Stoke-on-Trent has also been identified by the UK Government one of 12 opportunity areas (OA) nationally, set up to remove barriers to social mobility so children and young people can go as far as their talents allow. 

 

Social mobility 'coldspots' (including the city centre) have been identified using the new Social Mobility Index which sets out the differences between where children grow up and the chances, they have for doing well in adult life.  

In our city, 22% of children (0-15) live in out of work benefit households, the proportion of young people aged 16-17 who were not in education, employment or training (NEET) or whose activity is not known was 4.4% in Stoke-on-Trent compared with 6.0% in England (in 2016), 3.8% of children live in poverty (against a national average of 16.8%) . Data also shows that over half of all mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 24. In an average class of 30 students aged 15: 10 are likely to have witnessed their parents separate, 7 are likely to have been bullied  6 may be self-harming  and 1 could have experienced the death of a parent. 2 Particular groups of children are more likely to experience poor outcomes linked, for example, to gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, being a young carer, a looked after child or being in the youth justice system.

The city has an historic industrious background rooted in the pottery and mining industries. The effects these industries have had on the population of residents is portrayed mainly through poor health and poor education, which is highlighted in the fact that the literacy levels in the city are low.

From all the documented Statistical evidence & research there is no doubt, especially considering cuts in youth provision over the last few years, prolific waiting lists for support services & from the last Ofsted report around  children & young people services that creative thinking, innovative youth interventions & strategic action is needed NOW  to model that ‘UNITED STRENGTH IS STRONGER’. We believe THIS PROJECT will be ‘HOME’ for many young people from chaotic backgrounds, will provide a sense of belonging, foster opportunity & purpose, make a significant difference in empowering young people to make improved life choices, & not be limited by life chances in being empowered  to not let their past define their future

 

 

The CYP SOTCC early help strategy 2020 states ‘Children & young people are the number one priority for the city of STOKE ON TRENT ‘… our young people should be enthusiasts, creators, entrepreneurs & innovators’ - we believe in this ! - The ENDZ project would not only facilitate the above through enterprise & creative engagement  but would offer a diverse range of features & interventions providing resources, services & activities. It be intrinsic to gathering intel, tackling negative youth culture, bringing the community together, fostering social mobilisation & be key to ‘early help’ strategies so that our young people, THRIVE, not just SURVIVE OR ‘DIVE’ under the pressures & challenges of our current climate.
 

We believe it will contribute to violence reduction, combat boredom & foster an ‘Asset based’ approach to life & feel this will equip not only the young

 

 

 

 

 

#OURDESIREDOUTCOMES

 

We believe the project will provide ‘opportunity for change’. It is ‘transformational in nature, in terms of providing a physical space that will widen the outlook of young people by offering new experiences, & skill development but also by changing perceptions &  infusing hope by offering a wide range of creative activities, specialist services, & access to lived experience role models that young people can talk to on a regular basis all under one roof. It will enable young people to RISE above the statistical definitions of expected life chances & therefore make improved lifestyle choices creating an ‘I CAN’ culture rather than an ‘I CAN’T culture…the I’M POSSIBLE ethos instead of the IMPOSSIBLE ethos. It will invest in young people leaving legacy that will empower them to become the LIVED EXPERIENCE YOUNG LEADERS for social change themselves that can pro-model positive futures for their peers. This will be a safe space for vulnerable young people where rather than being exploited will attain a sense of belonging become part of a citywide movement that is going to influence the next decade in our city .

 

#OURDESIREDIMPACT

 

  • Safeguarding young people effectively; being a ‘HOME’ …
    a place of security, comfort, and inspiration.

 

  • Creating a sense of belonging, with authentic youth ownership and voice; being transformational, offering new experiences & opportunities.

  • Offering effective ‘early help’ intervention, altering pathways to thrive, not just survive.

 

  • Educating, up-skilling and motivating, raising aspirations.

 

  • Giving direct access to those with ‘lived experience’ & are positive role models.

 

  • Improving mental health by Delivering on ‘instant access’ mental health support.

 

  • Bettering mental and physical wellbeing, creating sustainable, lasting change. empowering young people to drive social change themselves and pro-mode positive futures to their peers.

 

  • Reducing discrimination towards young people & marginalisation amongst minority groups.

 

  • Curbing anti-social behaviour, gangs, crime, and violence, by reducing boredom, giving purpose & creating opportunity for change.

 

  • Improving life chances & lifestyle choices by infusing value, raising aspirations & imparting resilience & tenacity.

 

  • Creating Business start-up incubator pods & employment opportunities & pathways for young people / young adults within the labour market

 

We think we have a real opportunity here through an innovative COLLECTIVE approach to solving the problem together in a collaborative partnership approach especially involving a corporate partner, who aligns with our values & mission.

 

We believe we have the Opportunity to achieve so much good and engage with young people in a positive way within their hometown city centre. Like so many things there is never usually a single solution to a problem, so a multi layered approach is required and ENDZ is just one part of a transformative solution necessary to help support the future of the city, inspire a generation & shape the next decade.

 

Towards this vision, we are currently seeking to IDENTIFY & SECURE a fit-for-purpose building & source the investment to ‘kit out’ the space. 

Please get in touch if you can help us with this!

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07812 774 632

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