VAP’s work in the UK > Past projects > Stanley Youth Centre Summer Playscheme
Stanley is a small town in the north east of England, 15 kms from Newcastle. It is a town that has seen high levels of unemployment and incomes are low.
The Stanley Youth Centre is a charitable organisation with the purpose of providing recreational activities for young people aged 8 to 25 years.
Back in 1973 the youth workers at the centre, along with parents and volunteers, decided to establish the Stanley Youth Centre summer playscheme for local children aged 5 to 13 years during the school holidays. It is an independent community-led scheme, run by a committee of volunteers led by Ronnie and Margaret Harrison. The committee spends all year raising the funds for the playscheme and for a children’s party in December.
The idea of an international workcamp was added as a way of support the playscheme and to demonstrate the internationalism of the centre. Every year a group of about 16 international volunteers is brought by VAP to work alongside local volunteers and the playscheme committee members. Up to 200 children take part in sports, music, drama, songs, art, face painting, games, dance and environmental activities. These take place inside and outside the centre. There are also trips to the swimming pool and to the coast. The international volunteers share their own childhood experience through games, music and activities reflecting their own culture. They usually have an excursion to a place of interest such as Edinburgh, York or Durham.