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By GreaterSport | 22 December 2021 | TAGS: Local Pilot, Salford, Stories

‘It has taken real partnership to transform this former supermarket unit into The Den. It’s a fantastic space for young people to meet up, make new friends and learn new skills. The Den has its own sports court but young people can also use the gym space at Maverick Stars next door when that is not in use for boxing.” City Mayor Paul Dennett.

The Local Pilot has:

  • Invested in capacity – a dedicated youth role
  • Convened partners to design and deliver the facility, and understand organisational perspectives, values and barriers within their approach.

What’s different because of the influence of the Local Pilot?

  • The development of the facility is based on the relationships and collaborative work being delivered in this local community related to reducing anti-social behaviour over the last 3 years of the Local Pilot. There are numerous organisations involved in this collaborative effort, including a couple of local boxing charities/clubs alongside the youth alliance, local authority and leisure trust.
  • The young people that live in the area have asked for the facility and will continue to be engaged to develop the space, and its offer to them.
  • Activities delivered at the centre are varied in terms of the opportunities for young people to get involved in sport and physical activity. All of the organisations involved are also committed to providing cultural activities, and those related to the young people’s health, wellbeing, education, volunteering opportunities, and future employment.

What’s significant in this example?

  • The time and effort committed to developing a collaborative vision and effort, to secure and open this centre with the views and needs of the young people in the community at its heart.
  • The ongoing commitment to the engagement of young people in the future development of the space, and its offer to them.
  • The wide range of organisations involved and the variety of activities that will be delivered
  • The Den is being seen as an example of best practice across the city-region i.e. dedicated community provision on the doorstep of young people.
  • Activity sessions delivered within the centre are already over-subscribed
  • The vast majority of the equipment and facilities have been re-purposed, donated from elsewhere, and/or fitted by local trades people who want to give something back to the local community.

 ‘… it helped me build up my confidence in many ways ... it made me feel like I had a purpose in life and then it helped to move onto get me a job which led to an apprenticeship ... with every course and qualification I’ve come out with its bettered me as a person and as a colleague, as a worker … and as a role model cause the kids look up to you in the job that you do ..’

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