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Image of young peopleMacclesfield

Worth Unlimited Macclesfield is a development of the Cre8 Youth and Community Project based at St.Barnabas church on the Moss Rose estate. Cre8 began in the summer of 2005 as an initiative of Churches Together in Macclesfield who wanted to serve the community by doing something positive in an area with the worst reputation in the town. Macclesfield is a high wealth generating area on the edge of the Peak District; yet there are many young people here who rarely leave the estate. The relative poverty and poverty of experience here can cause profound difficulties for young people. Because the estate is small (around 680 dwellings) and we are surrounded by such affluence; we struggle to be recognised as a deprived area; to many people we simply don’t exist.

“I worked with one young man aged 17 who hadn’t left the house for 3 years because he’d been so badly bullied, when he came out with me the skin on his face turned red as it hadn’t seen daylight for so long.” Says Branch Director Rob Wardle.

“Becoming a branch of Worth Unlimited has given us resources, support and direction. Six months ago we were a small project with concerns about how we could survive let alone develop; now, as a branch of Worth Unlimited, we are suddenly a part of something bigger and the future looks much brighter.”

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Here are details of some of the project’s activities:

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Club Nights.
We hold a weekly club night for 11 – 15 year olds with activities such as:

• Healthy cooking and eating.
• Drama.
• Arts and Crafts.
• Modelling.

Up to 20 young people every week enjoy the club night, we also welcome up to eight volunteer adults to help out with this group, this means that quality dialogue can take place, informal mentoring and positive role modelling are features of the group dynamics. Once a month we cook a meal together and sit down to eat, this is an activity chosen by the young people themselves which is quite remarkable considering that when we started the group it was difficult to get the young people to sit down at all! See the photo gallery.

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Off beat.
This is a new initiative for the project. Commencing in the Autumn of 2007 we will be starting outreach work with young people not already accessing the Club Night and those who are at risk of anti-social behaviour. Activities will be accredited and include rock climbing, hill walking and biking.

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Barnies.
In the spring of 2006 we were asked to develop a Garden Project at the local Poolswood Family Centre. The derelict ground behind the centre had been identified as an area which could be turned into a garden and play area for children and families using the centre. We recruited a team of adult volunteers who worked alongside young people who for a variety of reasons were not in education, employment or training; all were also known to the police or had criminal records. These young people worked tirelessly and transformed the area into a superb resource for the community. The success of this project has led in turn to the development of a permanent garden project on land behind St.Barnabas church. This project, known as ‘Barnies’ is now under way; it will include an allotment garden, orchard and an amenity garden. The project is will be linked to ‘World Worth Living In’ , the hope being that in the future, some of the older young people will be able to form a community enterprise based on the project. See the photo gallery.

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Residentials.
We are committed to providing at least two residential experiences for young people accessing the project annually. For the past few years one of these has been a week long stay at the Iona Community’s Camas Centre in North West Scotland. These residentials are a key part of the work of the Cre8 project. Positive relationships are built and young people with differing learning styles are able to thrive in the non-threatening, peaceful outdoor environment. See the photo gallery.

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Initiate.
An important part of our work is the mentoring of young offenders and young adult offenders. We are pioneering work with these young people in terms of developing a ‘rites of passage’ programme which will enable such young people to make a secure transition into adulthood. This work involves partnership with family members and agencies involved with the young people, often in difficult circumstances. We are also working to develop a voluntary mentoring project based on the identification and training of suitable adult and peer mentors to act as positive role models for young people making the transition from school years 6 to 7. See the photo gallery.

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In Partnership.
Cre8 hosts the ‘Moss Rose Young People’s Group’, a sub-group of the Local Authority’s Commissioning and Delivery Board. Meeting once a month this group has representation from professionals, young people and adults in the community. It is providing an important interface between young people and professionals. We regularly have police, housing and ASBO officers meeting young people; the atmosphere is often lively but always constructive!

Mark Gaffney, manager of the local NCH Family Centre and Moss Rose Children’s Centre says “Cre8 is an essential part of the mechanism for what we are trying to do on the estate; it’s great to have like minded people working in partnership with us”.

Final Word goes to Rob, “Transformational partnerships is what we’re about; at Worth Unlimited in Macclesfield we believe we’ve got something that works and we want to spread it, not just amongst the young people but also amongst the volunteers and agencies that we work with as well.”

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Contact

Worth Unlimited:
Cre8 Youth and
Community Project

c/o 38 Parkgate Road
Macclesfield
Cheshire
SK11 7TA

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Rob Wardle
Project Director
Tel: 01625 263518
Mobile: 07710 173177

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Jonathan Aiken
Project worker

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E-mail:
[email protected]

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