Friday, August 24, 2007

Slagrove Summer Scheme - A triumph!

Yesterday I went to the Slagrove Summer Scheme BBQ & Fun Day 2007, which was to mark the end of the 4-week Slagrove Summer Scheme. There was a showcase performance to demonstrate some of the skills the young people had acquired over the month, which included a steel drum band ('the Slagrovers'), a samba band, drama and singing.

Over 120 young people from the local area have taken part in the programme of events, which included, dance, drama and music workshops, day trips, football and art projects, amongst many other things. I particularly like the big 'Slagrove SE13' mosaic they had made, which I hope will be displayed somewhere prominently in Slagrove Place soon. All the young people and parents I spoke to were full of praise for the scheme and hoping that the scheme would be repeated next year.

The scheme was organised by the recently formed Slagrove Partnership, which involves L&Q, Family Mosaic & Elevate (part of Pinnacle Housing) who all own or manage properties within the local area. Further support was provided by Lewisham Council ASB/Community Safety Team, Youth Service, Extended Services and the Safer Neighbourhood Team.

From what I understand, the housing associations provided most of the funding, while the council supported the scheme by providing youth workers. The PCSOs from the Safer Neighbourhood team were also involved and said that they thought Slagrove Place had been a noticeably calmer, happier area this summer as a result of the scheme. I thought it was a great example of partnership working and a wonderfully positive (indirect) outcome of our Ladywell Ward Forum and subsequent meetings on Youth Provision last December, which representatives of some of the housing associations attended.

Well done to all concerned, but particularly to the hard work put in by Gill Wills and team from Extended Services, Thomas Joseph in Youth Service, Sonia Meggie and her team from L&Q, Ken Drysdale from Family Mosaic and Rebecca Potter from Elevate for making this happen.

There will be another meeting with Slagrove Partnership and residents in the next week or so to discuss what the next step should be. There seems to be some interest in restarting a residents' association in Slagrove Place, which would be good and there are also ongoing discussions about whether the two portakabins provided for the summer scheme could be used more permanently for year-round youth work, after-school clubs etc.

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