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Safer Communities CIC

Good Afternoon is a community group, established to provide a safe and stimulating environment for adults with learning disabilities, together with their carers. No-one in the group is paid to provide this service, and it is run by volunteers giving their time freely for the sessions.
Sessions at the Community Rooms, Newcastle Fire Station are based around Art and Craft activities with the emphasis on using recycled materials.

Lynne Arnold who leads the group said, “Mandy Chapman, Pete Hall and the Station Manager, Mark Walchester, have all supported us and integrated with us. Our group comprises adults with learning difficulties so this integration is really important to us, as is the continuity of the Tuesday and Thursday sessions, at the set time of 12.30 to 3.30. For autistic people this stability is vital. We have found the Fire Station is ideal for our purposes, with members and their carers using arts and crafts to create a fun social interaction. If we didn’t have access to the community room, then the group wouldn’t happen; we couldn’t afford to run the group as well as paying for a room.”

We are pleased to support them by donating £500 worth of art materials to help them continue the wonderful work they are doing.

If you and your group would like to submit a funding request then please follow the link below;

StreetStadia™ is a mobile 18m x 12m games stadium, which can be easily erected in a wide variety of locations to enable delivery of a varied range of formal and informal physical/creative activities. The aim of StreetStadia™ is to engage with communities to encourage younger people to participate in physical activity and learn about fire safety whilst having fun!

The activities are delivered by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service staff, partners, volunteers and community groups.

There are a wide range of games and activities on offer to the community, which keeps children engaged and out of mischief.

Afford rent-a-car have generously provided a dedicated vehicle for storing and transporting the StreetStadia™ equipment across the county. Corporate Sales Manager at Afford Rent-a-Car Dave Powell said: “Afford Rent-a-Car was delighted when Safer Communities CIC contacted us to be involved with the StreetStadia™ scheme

“any community scheme that involves young people having fun and enjoying a variety of sports is a worthwhile project to be associated with”

For more information on the StreetStadia™, please follow the link below.
We are in the process of creating a brand new coffee station that will run from Hanley Fire Station every Wednesday. The aim of this is to bring members of the community into the fire station for a hot drink and a chat!

Coffee Station will be supported by friendly staff and volunteers from Safer Communities and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service who give a warm welcome to all members of the community who wish to join us!

Coffee Station launches on 11th November 2015 10:00hrs – 16:00hrs so please feel free to drop in at any time, make sure to print out the leaflet above to get your first coffee for free!
This week the Team4 group spend the week away – trying new things and learning how to work with others. It is a great chance for them all to break away from their current situation, form a close bond within the group and expand on some of their skills.

This time they went completed their residential at Beaudesert Park in Cannock. The Team enjoyed getting involved in challenges such as air rifle shooting, archery and Pedal Go Karts. Activities such as Raft Building and Jacobs’s ladder allowed them to learn how to communicate with each other and work as a team.

We are always recruiting for our Free 12 week Prince’s Trust Team Programme:

On 6th October 2015, Busy Minds celebrated their 5th anniversary at Bilbrook House, Codsall. This was a spectacular event, which included refreshments, dancing and lunch! It was great to see such a successful group celebrating five years of friendship, happiness and support.

The Busy Minds group has been running since the summer of 2010 when Kate Staples joined forces with Sonja Oatley and Madeline Cheadle to run as 12 week Health and Wellbeing Course. At the end of the course the ten older people decided they wanted to carry on meeting so they could socialise, learn about fire safety, play games and have a cup of tea.

Now the group meet every Tuesday from 11am to 1pm at Bilbrook House, behind Codsall Community Fire Station on Carter Lane, Bilbrook. Over 55 older people attend and as well as having something local to go to every week they look after each other through out the week as well. A great example of how communities can support each other.

On 25th September 2015 the Safer Communities CIC’s first Conference was held at Headquarters. Designed to get people thinking more ‘community’, the conference concentrated on the Life Skills Centre to be built at Stafford Fire Station.

Amongst those attending were the CIC Delivery and Management Board, Prevent and Business Support Managers, the Chief Fire Officer and Principal Officers, Chair and Vice-Chair of the Fire Authority and the Life Skills Centre Project Team. Representatives from the MOD, VAST, County Council, Entrust, the Prince’s Trust and Groundwork also came to hear from the speakers and take the opportunity to network with community-minded colleagues.

Entrepreneur and Life Peer Lord Andrew Mawson was the first speaker. He wrote the best-selling book ‘The Social Entrepreneur – Making Communities Work’. He spoke from his own experiences of looking for opportunities in the community rather than challenges.

Chris Shaw, Mental Health Advocate and Consultant Adviser to Local Authority believes that we should not do to others what they can do for themselves, lest we potentially isolate, disempower and infantilize people and that communities peopled by self-advocating and interdependent folks sharing their assets is a realistic aspiration. He spoke to the conference about asking communities what their strengths are rather than focusing on the weaknesses.

These similar messages were the mainstay for the conference. For those working on the Life Skills Centre, it is about vision and designing the concept of the new facility – looking at the positives rather than the negatives which is a message for us all.

The event was rounded off with a networking lunch that sparked some interesting discussions with partners on how they can work together, to make the Life Skills Centre stand out and gain a valued position within our community.

Get started with Newcastle Beginner Group
FREE 6 week courses

At Newcastle Community Fire Station – Knutton Lane (ST5 2SL)

Mondays 6:30pm – 7:30pm

Starting Monday 5th October 2015

A progressive 6 week course from walk/jog
Led by friendly qualified leaders
All ages and abilities welcome but must be over 16

Give running a go!

For further information or to sign up please contact Rebecca Ibbs
Email: rebeccaibbs @gmail.com Mobile: 07837412126


I thought it would be great to provide you with an update on the first project meeting took place for the Life Skills Centre. It was attended well by partner organizations form across Staffordshire including those from the voluntary sector, health sector and emergency services.

We received a fantastic presentation from Donna Potts from Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service on their Centre called Skill Zone. It was great to listen to her advice and see examples of a centre that is open and running. They have a great website which really puts into context what the resource is intended to be like; http://skillzone.glosfire.gov.uk/. Donna was then followed by Mark Shone from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service who presented on their development which is approximately 18 months ahead of us in Staffordshire.

So what's next? All partners who attended the meeting have been asked to fill in a matrix which will help inform Entrust (the appointed builders) and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue about organizations objectives which will help shape the first stages of the building design. Safer Communities CIC has also appointed a Business Development Manger (more info to follow) who will start to look at how the center will run and develop ideas for income streams and projects.

Early days - but all looking very exciting! Keep coming back for more hot off the press updates ....

Kate Staples