Youth project sparks kids’ enthusiasm
A NEW project has been launched to transform the lives of troubled young people.
S:Park is a social enterprise in South Park in Macclesfield.
Launched this summer, it has involved revamping the pavilion to open a kiosk selling ice-creams and drinks.
Now, after its huge success, the aim is to develop the project into a sustainable community interest company which will give young people work experience in catering and park maintenance and formal qualifications in similar way to the famous Jamie Oliver restaurant venture Fifteen.
The project has the backing of the Mayor of Macclesfield coun Janet Jackson.
She said: “The S:PARK project is an all round winner.
“The South Park pavilion will be renovated and brought back into use. To start with the public toilets have been refurbished and a kiosk providing drinks and ice creams has been opened on a part time basis.
“Users of the park are being asked their views on amenities in the park. Young people have been involved in the project at every stage, helping run the kiosk, and then other facilities as they are developed.
“This is a great community asset, bringing life back to the park, providing much needed facilities and encouraging this group of young people as they develop their skills.”
Among the young people involved in the project so far are sixteenyear-olds Jordan Johnstone and Toyah Lowe.
Tom Dooks, senior manager at Cheshire East Youth Engagement Service, said: “Jordan Johnstone and Toyah Lowe are a couple of the young people who we have supported in setting up S:PARK and they have done some work voluntarily in the kiosk, serving refreshments etc. Jordan Johnstone in particular has worked very hard on this project and is keen to see S:PARK evolve into a sustainable social enterprise.
“Jordan is the driving force behind it he’s a real budding social entrepreneur, he’s helping us form a community group and he has been the spark of creativity for the project.
“He’s fantastic and the project has giving him a complete new lease of life.
“All the kids are doing really well. They are giving up their free time to do this.”
Karen Hyde, designed the winning logo for the new venture, and Alex Dean earned a voucher for coming runner up in the design competition.
S:PARK kiosk and newly refurbished toilets is open every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday afternoon from midday until 4pm, and will be open until the end of the school holidays.
There will be an open community forum on Monday, September 8, where members of the community are invited to join the group and hear about its development and share their skills.
Tom added: “It’s been really successful. Now we are looking for support from the local community.
“We would like adults with marketing and technical skills who may be interested in coming on board and helping us take this forward.”
The open day will be held on Monday, September 8, at 6.30pm upstairs in the Pavilion - the old cafe. For more information go to the facebook page email@example.com.
●» Jordan Johnstone serves and icecream at S:Park, in South Park, Macclesfield, to mayor Janet Jackson.
●» Coun Rhoda Bailey, Jordan Johnstone, Toyah Lowe, Mayor of Macclesfield Coun Janet Jackson, Coun Rachel Bailey and Tom Dooks, senior manager of Cheshire East Youth Engagement Service