Renfrewshire Council

Carolanne Robertson, Community Safety Manager

Carolanne Robertson - Community Safety Manager What's your role in Street Stuff?

I'm the manager in charge of overseeing the deployment of activities by St Mirren FC, as funding is provided by the Council.

What does the Street Stuff do?

"Primarily, it provides free diversionary activities to young people in the evenings and at weekends, but this has been extended over the last four years to include school holidays with the provision of a healthy meal during the day.

"The programme also provides pathways to employment through participation, volunteering, educational establishments, employment with the programme and other organisations such a Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue and many more.

"It's provided sporting and gaming activities for young people which increases their health & wellbeing, as well as social inclusion with young people getting the chance to meet new people and feel part of the wider community.

"Not only that, it's contributed to an initial reduction of 75% in antisocial behaviour involving young people with a sustained 65% reduction over the ten years since 2009." 

How many people are involved in the programme?

"We can have between 35 and 50 at any one time which is enhanced with our partners in Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue, Engage Renfrewshire, St Mirren FC and other council services.

"We support all Street Stuff staff and volunteers with the necessary training to carry out the role including driving, child protection, child sexual exploitation, human trafficking, coaching certificates, No Knives Better Lives and Show Racism the Red Card."

How important is Street Stuff to the local community?

"Street Stuff is instrumental to the local communities it serves, providing a free activity which some families otherwise wouldn't be able to afford. It gives young people somewhere to go keeping them active and staying out of trouble. 

"Young people are so important to the council and Street Stuff provides a platform for them to develop and enhance their skills and expertise as we look to create opportunities for all."

How important is it that young people have the opportunity to take part in sport?

"As a key national priority, young people are encouraged to get involved in more physical activity and Street Stuff provides this opportunity free of charge in a fun and interactive way ,which makes it more appealing than other structured paid activities.

Why do you love what you do?

"There is nothing better than seeing young people succeed whether it be through playing games or progressing down the career pathways. We often get them at a very young age and seeing them progress and develop into adults is very rewarding.

It doesn't come without its challenges; however the Renfrewshire Community Safety Partnership supports the Street Stuff staff and young people with whatever issues they are faced with."

What makes Street Stuff so special?

"The passion and enthusiasm of all involved in the programme from participants, volunteers, staff and partners. We're helping those young people who wouldn't necessarily have such opportunities to shine, have fun and develop through their teenage years in to adulthood. 

"We could literally write a book with the experiences and success stories over the last 10 years with so many positives emanating from the work that is delivered. Young people are at the heart of our communities and seeing them develop as individuals keeps the momentum going.

"There is not a one size fits all model and you never get two days the same, but if we can help a young person in any way then we will and we'll point them in the right direction."

What's your favourite part of Street Stuff?

"A special time of year for me is the festive period. Christmas is a stressful time of year for families and seeing young people getting involved in activities with the provision of a healthy meal including our festive party is quite emotional.  Some of these young people escape the stressful homelife situations, receive gifts, rewards and have a fun time at a range of activities.

"We can never lose sight of the purpose of the programme and always need to adapt and change. People see Street Stuff as that diversionary programme for bad kids but for me it is much more than that and it's time we got that message out there."

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