Community Space Challenge (CSC), a social-action focused programme that supports young people aged eight to 17 to transform neglected public spaces in their local community has launched its impact report.
The report was launched at a high profile conference at Trinity House on 25 September with guest speakers including Richard Reynolds, the pioneer of Guerrilla gardening and Mark Boyd from the Royal Society of the Protection of Birds (RSPB).
One young person, Jake Clapham who has been involved with the programme and the Southwark CSC project for four years stood up and told his story about his turbulent home life, which led him to be in trouble with the police and how now, thanks to Community Space Challenge he has turned his life around from a life of crime. He said:
‘Today I am wearing a suit and sharing my story in a positive way. A few years ago the only time I thought I would be wearing a suit is if I was in court.’
CSC is funded by the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) and has been managed by Catch22 for the last five years. The impact report reveals that it has far exceeded its expectations and draws on findings from a recent independent evaluation by the University of York.
Headline figures reveal that:
- The aims of Community Space Challenge were to increase the quality and use of 700 community spaces across England. So far over 12,000 young people aged eight to 17 have helped improve 900 spaces across England.
- More than 120,000 hours have been volunteered by young people.
- 2,028 young people have been supported back into education, training, employment or onto work and 2,701 have gained an accredited award to recognise the skills learned.
- 75% of participants who have been in trouble with the police previously say they have been in trouble less or not at all since taking part in the programme. (University of York Evaluation Report 2012)
- Almost two thirds (62%) of young people who responded to a young people’s questionnaire said they felt more pride in their neighbourhood as a result of being involved with Community Space Challenge (University of York Evaluation Report 2012)
- 73% of participants say they know more about the environment as a result of their involvement with Community Space Challenge. (University of York Evaluation Report 2012)
- 82% of participants say they could make a difference to their environment in looking after their area. (University of York Evaluation Report 2012)
Download the Community Space Challenge impact report pdf, 4.83 MB.