Save Haven

Best Practice: SAFE HAVEN at the CHURCH of the REDEEMER, Waterworks Estate, Ladywood/Edgbaston

Delegates were introduced to this project in Birmingham as another example of where collaboration at an operational level is enabling the support of children and families in a very deprived area of the City of Birmingham and only 5 kilometers from West Smethwick Enterprise.

The Church of the Redeemer provides a range of facilities including meeting rooms, a Sports hall plus a small café/Kitchen area providing Snacks and drinks.

Safe Haven is an initiative from West Midlands Police and staffed by Neighbourhood Officers with the support of a number of other agencies and also Volunteers.

It meets on a regular weekly basis – Thursday evenings from 17.00 and 21.00 with the purpose of providing engagement through a number of supervised, informal and planned activities for children and young people between the ages of 8 and 18. They come from a wide area and, as with West Smethwick represent the rich cultural diversity of the City.

On any one evening up to 70 young people can attend.

Oversight of this initiative is provided by Chris Hoare, a long term associate of PISCESwm, and a nationally acknowledged expert practitioner in Community engagement and cohesion.

The Waterworks Estate on which the Church Centre is located was once one of the most deprived localities in the City renowned for the presence of Drug Dealers and Prostitutes. Chris with the support of other likeminded neighbours in association with the Police and Birmingham City Council has transformed the area introducing Gardens, Lighting and CCTV as well as hosting such initiatives as Safe Haven.

This level of collaboration and intent on improvement of the lives particularly of younger people was in evidence on the visit by the LEMOR delegation to the Centre where they were met by local Councillors as well as representatives of west Midlands Police.

The Centre and its staff work on the principle of identifying and developing the potential and skills of young people by providing a wide range of activities and experiences including Theatre, Music, Photography, Cooking as well as access to ICT where Gaming is positively used as a means of personal interaction.

As well as this regular weekly activity, funded jointly by west Midlands Police and the local Council, other events and celebrations are also organized including visits to local attractions, Concerts etc.

For further information please contact John White – Executive Director and part of the Lemor programme on 0044(0)1525 714182/john@pisceswm.org.uk/ 0044(0)7792175928