The Shack Community Projects is a registered charity working to provide a base and facilities in the heart of the Ragworth and Primrose Hill areas of Stockton on Tees. A community building has been donated to the project and we are looking to renovate this to provide a functional community centre for this area.
Why is it needed?
We have been working with people from these estates for several years, and love the people, families and youth in this area. However these areas have some of the highest levels of income, employment and health deprivation. Key areas to tackle include major health inequalities; including high levels of teenage conception, a high incidence of drug and alcohol abuse. Twice as many people claim incapacity benefits (14% – UK 7%); 10% claim job seekers allowance (UK 4%). There are high levels of disorder and anti social behaviour, and low educational attainment and qualifications (only 32% getting 5 GSCE levels A* – C compared to a UK figure of 55%).
What sort of activities?
We aim to develop a community facility with leisure and recreational activities to tackle these issues, developing a permanent resource as a base for community regeneration. Our expertise lies in building long lasting relationships with our users. A Community base will allow us to provide a place free of distractions to continue and develop activities to a wider section of the population.
Check out the latest newsletter: Shack newsletter Spring 2017.
Who is it for?
We are a faith based organisation who seek to transform the lives of the poor, marginalised and needy in our area through community activity and engagement work. Tees Valley Community Projects (TVCP) have been working with many families and youth within this area during the past five years, not just meeting specific short term needs, but working holistically to address issues affecting emotional and physical well being. We established a kids club and parent groups in conjunction with St John the Baptist Primary School. Last year we took local families on a holiday in North Yorkshire aimed at uniting and assisting families to connect, play and enjoy spending time together. Through a variety of activities we helped to strengthen family bonds in a safe and secure environment, free from distractions; developing parenting skills, teaching simple games that could be played as a family, cooking and eating together, anger management skills and how to effectively address behavioural issues. Recently we worked with local youths through ‘Fighting Chance’. Providing 12 weeks of regular football coaching to unemployed 16 – 24 year olds we use sport to channel energies into positive teamwork. By using motivational speakers and one to one mentoring, we have offered assistance in recognising individual skills and strengths, through interactive personal action planning. Fun, yet challenging, activities assisted individuals to build self esteem, set goals for their futures and start taking steps towards employment.
We are here to stay in Ragworth and now have a wonderful platform to reach out into the community to benefit even more people in the future. These are exciting times for The Shack Community Projects in Ragworth and Primrose Hill. We have realised our goal of having our own centre to meet some of the very real needs of these communities. We have had wonderful support to date from statutory and voluntary sectors and unbelievable goodwill from many individuals to date. We hope to develop further lasting partnerships in this area.