Sheffield housing company answers youth project’s call of nature

A youth project in Sheffield was saved from closure after a local housing company answered its call of nature by donating a portable toilet.

Youth Development, a community interest company established in Barnsley in 2012, was running an allotment project in Meersbrook aimed at cutting youth offending. But the extra cost of providing an on-site toilet – required by health and safety legislation – forced organisers to consider pulling the chain on the initiative.

However, after hearing about the toilet troubles, Sheffield Housing Company (SHC) – which is building homes at the nearby Cutlers View development – stepped in to provide the loo and some additional fencing.

“We run a range of projects right across South Yorkshire and our aim is to offer opportunities for 16 to 18-year-olds who face life challenges, due to a variety of circumstances,” said Mark Garside, a volunteer with Youth Development.

“This outdoor project was designed to offer something different to young people, who could potentially become involved in criminal behaviour or who are at risk of re-offending. However, the additional cost of the toilet facilities and fencing could have meant us having to shelve the project altogether. Thankfully SHC agreed to help us and we can now all enjoy a productive summer down on the allotment.”

SHC is Sheffield City Council’s joint venture development company with private sector development partner Keepmoat and Great Places Housing Group. It is providing homes for sale, shared ownership and rent – including private rent – and plans to create around 2,300 in total.

“We are delighted to be able to support such a fantastic organisation. Youth Development’s tireless work has already had a positive impact on the lives of scores of young people and we look forward to hearing of more, as work on the allotment progresses,” said John Clephan, SCH’s project director.

“Whilst improving the quality and choice of homes available to people across the city is our prime aim, providing opportunities for people to learn and develop will also help communities to thrive. This allotment initiative is a perfect example of the kind of project we want to support.”

Photo: (Rear left to right) Leon Duffus and Andy Kelly, volunteers; John Clephan; Haydn Tomlinson, Keepmoat Homes; Mark Garside and scheme participants Cory and (front left) Sophie and Rhianna Louise



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