Youth project sparks kids’ en­thu­si­asm

Macclesfield Express - - YOUR PICTURES -

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 spark@southpark.co.uk.

●» 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

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