Commissioner celebrates success of flagship Youth Zone

Liverpool / February 25

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner visited one of the region’s flagship Youth Zones yesterday to celebrate its huge success since opening.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner visited one of the region’s flagship Youth Zones yesterday to celebrate its huge success since opening.

Jane Kennedy visited Toxteth Fire Fit Hub on Upper Warwick Street to see the work being done by the team to engage with young people.

The £5.2m centre, which combines a community fire station and a “youth zone” consisting of extensive sports facilities, opened its doors in July last year and has already seen a huge growth in membership.

To celebrate, the Commissioner joined the festivities as the Hub put on a "Ministry of Food" with offerings from many of its members. Ministry of Food is a programme run by Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service to encourage healthier lifestyles and foods and to highlight fire safety in the kitchen and home. Toxteth Fire Fit Hub fund and deliver the programme at their centre.

The night also saw the first screening of a film made by Hub members looking at the aspirations, health and well-being of young people across the city.

Jane Kennedy said: “It was real delight to visit the Toxteth Fire Fit Hub last night and see the great work being done by this special project to engage with young people across the city.

“The fact that the Hub is already so well used by hundreds of young people is testament to its success so far.

“It is clear young people in Merseyside love using the hub and really appreciate the help, support and fantastic opportunities it offers them. I look forward to seeing how it continues to grow in the next few months and beyond.”

The community fire station on the site of the Toxteth Fire Fit Hub replaced the fire service’s station in High Park Street, Toxteth.

The unique site, which is run by a charitable company, is part of the Myplace scheme, which provides world-class facilities for young people from across Liverpool.

The Hub's managing director Sara Lawton said: “Through providing world class facilities and a range of educational services during week days, the hub aims to help young people achieve both their personal goals and a healthy lifestyle as part of a truly unique site.

"It was fantastic the Police and Crime Commissioner took the time to visit the site and meet the young people to see our work here.”

The Youth Zone at the hub offers top-of-the-range sports hall, martial arts studio, gym and dance studio, four five-a-side football pitches.

Further information about the Hub and membership can be found on the Toxteth Fire Fit Hub website or by calling (0151) 296 6800.

The Hub was funded by the Department of Education’s Myplace initiative, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service and Liverpool City Council.

During the early stages of the project, before building work at the site started, staff from Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service also created an “ambassadors” group made up of young people who help to shape the development of the hub and are involved in how it is run.

Construction began in November 2011 with eight local apprentices enlisted to help with plastering, surveying and administration.