Summer club of fun for city's youngsters
The summer holidays may now be over but for dozens of kids in Birmingham we’ve helped them make some fantastic memories at a club run by officers in the city.
The WMP Summer Club ran for two weeks in the Bartley Green area with officers working with local schools to offer places to children from the community.
With all the issues the Covid pandemic has brought, some kids in the area may have needed that little bit extra support and this club was a way of offering them a safe environment to have some fun during the school holidays.
The sessions for eight to 12-year-olds were held at Kitwell Primary over two weeks and each day the children got to enjoy a range of activities, thanks to the support of local community groups and organisations.
It may have been all fun and games for the kids but there’s also the hope that the activities will have inspired their career aspirations, helped them keep motivated to make good choices and steered them away from involvement in crime.
Officers from the WMP Drones unit dropped in to show the kids some of the kit we use to find vulnerable or missing people, track suspects, capture evidence at crime scenes and provide aerial footage at events such as protests.
The youngsters also got to make bird feeders with the help of staff from the RSPCA Birmingham Education Centre based in Frankley, and rain certainly didn't put a dampener on the sessions run by Bournville Rugby Club with the kids having lots of exercise and laughs.
First aid skills, healthy eating tips, tree-climbing and roasting marshmallows on a camp fire at a Forest School, were on the menu at the sessions set up and run by PC Lauren Schofield and PCSO Keturah Coyle from the Bartley Green Neighbourhood team.
Other partner agencies that have been involved were Willmott Dixon, O’Driscroll Collective Dance, WMP Dog & Drone Unit, Skills School, all with the support of funding from Birmingham City Council in conjunction with the Birmingham Holiday Activity Programme StreetGames.
PC Schofield said: "It was all about building bridges between us and young people in the area and keeping them engaged during school holidays.
"But it was also about giving them a chance to have fun, find new friends and opening up some new ideas and activities to them.”
On the final day there was a presentation ceremony with each child receiving a certificate marking their achievements, along with a free family swim voucher.
PC Schofield added: "It's been fantastic to see the youngsters having fun while finding out they can do things they'd never thought of trying before.
"And we've had really positive feedback from many of the parents saying how much their children have enjoyed getting involved."