In Whitleigh, funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office has enabled us to run six Parkour sessions in parallel with youth sessions to help engage with more young people. The funding also allowed us to hold a special community event at the Whitleigh shopping centre on 23rd February, which, despite uncooperative weather, attracted a good crowd of young people and adults. This gave us the chance to publicise our SpaceShot Whitleigh youth provision and for adults to learn a few gravity defying Parkour moves from the young people, all courtesy of the brilliant Plymouth Parkour team. It must be working because numbers have sky-rocketed, with 49 young people engaging in one recent session.
In St Budeaux, with numbers also growing rapidly, our young people embarked on their first Diversity project, with some unexpected consequences. Having completed refugee awareness training with Plymouth HOPE the group decided they wanted to do something to help the thousands of refugees fleeing Ukraine. Within a week their appeal had led to a deluge of clothing and essential items, all sorted by the group and youth workers. The emphasis was on baby and young children needs, as requested by the bigger collections we connected with in Okehampton and Exeter. They are sending essentials to a very large women’s refuge in Prague taking in hundreds of Ukranian refugees.
The final loading of our three vans (two of them courtesy of their volunteer drivers) on March 11th was captured by BBC Spotlight cameras and screened, with interviews, that evening. All the items were delivered to collections points in Exeter and Okehampton, with two members of the Diversity Project group allowed time off school to represent the group at the hand over. With so much bad news about we’re really proud of our young people.