Free youth programme – best attendance so far for half-term

A free to attend sports programme offered by Telford & Wrekin Council during school holidays, saw its best overall attendance in sessions this October since the programme began last year.

Free youth programme – best attendance so far for half-term

From Chinese dancing to American style wrestling, the Urban Games, offers young people of all ages, free activities during the school holidays with one parent saying: "It helps us get the kids out of the house without having to spend so much money."

Despite heavy downpours and some sessions consequently cancelled, the programme saw more than 300 participants enjoy a host of sports as well as craft, wildlife and dance activities.

The venues were across Telford and Wrekin in the areas where the council’s Safer & Stronger Communities project operates.  

Brightstar boxing, Telford AFC, Shropshire Cricket, Wrekin Flyers, Telford Netball Club and Hockey clubs all provided expert coaching during the sessions lasting around two hours. 

Wild Telford – nature-based activity sessions - proved highly popular with more than 100 people attending with lots of younger children accompanied by parents toasted marshmallows and made firework and bonfire themed woodland crafts. 

New for this year, young people aged eight and over had opportunity to take part in Chinese Dancing hosted by the Chinese Arts & Culture Centre and even American-style wrestling by Sport fest events which was held indoors at Randlay Community Centre and supported by the parish council.   

Councillor Kelly Middleton, cabinet member for healthy, safer & stronger communities and partnerships said: “We know the cost of living hasn’t gone away and the cost of a day out with the children is something that is beyond the reach of many. 

“Not only are these days free to attend, for children that are old enough, it’s an opportunity to spend time with friends in a safe place and flex that bit of independence. 

“Despite the weather, the turnout was great and created an opportunity for some people to explore green spaces on their doorstops, reconnect with nature or just get some fresh air, a bit of exercise and create some memories with their little ones.” 

Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: “Through my Safer West Mercia Plan I have a key aim to bring local communities together.

“The Urban Games' success is a welcome step forward in the joint mission with Telford & Wrekin Council to build safer and stronger communities.”

The Safer & Stronger Communities project works in areas of Telford and Wrekin to develop neighbourhood action plans. With help from residents, concerns are identified and through funding and support from community groups, measures are put in to help resolve them with help from a neighbourhood co-ordinator.

The Safer & Stronger Communities project is jointly led by Telford & Wrekin Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) John Campion. More than £2.5 million has been made available over two years with investment guided directly from feedback at a grass roots level.