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#StayActiveSussex – Police & Crime Commissioner teams up to keep young people active during lockdown

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Active Sussex have teamed up with REBOOT to provide young people and their families with access to free local sports and activities directly into their homes during ‘lockdown’.

Active Sussex work hard with partners to increase participation in sport and physical activity at a local level. Due to the Coronavirus ‘lockdown’, all of their usual physical activity routines, exercise classes and sports club sessions have been cancelled. 

Sport England have launched their #StayInWorkOut campaign to encourage people to keep active at home during ‘lockdown’. Active Sussex have created a local hashtag – #StayActiveSussex – to amplify this movement at a local level and engage with partners and the community.

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne’s REBOOT programme are getting involved and are working with Active Sussex to encourage young people across the county to take part in the movement too.

REBOOT has already supported nearly 900 vulnerable families in its first 11 months and has no intention of stopping this support. The programme has digitalised entirely using phone/email/video chat functions which means that: the early intervention from police officers will continue; the 1:1 coaching will continue; and now, with Active Sussex’s help, the positive diversionary activities can continue too. 

Last month, a ‘call for service’ was issued to local youth sports/fitness clubs across Sussex asking them to digitalise their services via YouTube or Instagram to create a bespoke schedule of activities for each week in lockdown. 

Lots of organisations came forward to get involved, offering half hourly and hourly sessions catered to 10-17 year olds and they have built a schedule of weekly activities, initially, over a three-month period. They are set to provide live and pre-recorded sessions to the young people throughout the week including, kickboxing sessions, street dance classes, MMA, art and culture classes, skateboarding, rap sessions and many more. 

These sessions will be available to all children for FREE. The first schedule begins next week and can be accessed here: https://www.sussex-pcc.gov.uk/get-involved/reboot/  

Andy Wright, Strategic Relationship Manager (Children & Young People) for Active Sussex said:

“This is a brilliant opportunity for us to work again with the REBOOT team. There is a whole host of online activities and training sessions available for younger children and adults, but not a lot targeted at teenagers so far.  This schedule will help teenagers that really need a positive diversionary activity at this time, to help them through the mental strain of being at home away from their friendship groups.

“The initial 12-week program, of 10 sessions a week from 6 local sport and physical activity providers, will help to give Sussex’s teenagers a structure to their day, and to keep physically and mentally active.”

Mrs Bourne commented:

“The social constraints of Covid-19 provide us with a unique opportunity to challenge ourselves to communicate in different ways. We have been determined to tap into our digital resources and do everything we can to ensure that critical support, guidance and free activities and resources are still available for our vulnerable young people and their families.

“It’s more important than ever to keep active and to look after your general wellbeing but it’s even more important to continue staying at home so I’m incredibly pleased that we are able to offer a way that families can do both.

“This will be a welcome distraction and provide a positive structure for the many young people within REBOOT who we know are struggling with the social distancing measures that are currently in place.”

Other organisations are still being encouraged to come forward if they have activities that can be delivered digitally.

Any newcomers will be added to the schedule over the coming weeks and therefore please contact Andy Wright at Active Sussex: awright@activesussex.org if you would like to become part of this movement. 

Charity

Crawley’s first ever ‘Free Supermarket’ opens in Three Bridges to support community

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On Sunday (8th November} Crawley’s first ever ‘free supermarket’ opened its doors to the local community.

The Free Shop Crawley is a store run by volunteers with the sole purpose of providing locals with food, toiletries and baby essentials without any associated cost.

Inspired by Marcus Rashford and his campaign to have school meals funded year-round, the stores inception came about when four local women shared a common desire to create a safe place for people in need to come and receive help without fear or shame.

Laura-Jane Wainwright, one of the founders of Free Shop Crawley said:

“Having used food banks in the past, I know first-hand how degrading it can feel.  We wanted to create a dignified space where anyone in need could come and access essentials in a friendly and inclusive environment. The thought of children going to bed hungry and adults losing sleep over financial anxiety broke our hearts and we knew we had to use our skills and resources to help”

Shoppers are encouraged to take up to 10 items from the shop each visit giving them a full basket of daily necessities. Anyone is eligible to visit the store and although there is a ticketing system in place the team are ready to welcome anyone who is in need.

The shop offers a fresh produce section, toiletries and sanitary care, tinned and dried goods, nappies and formula and even children’s clothing and toys.

In week one alone, over 100 people have been fed by the shops offering, showing just how big a need there is for support in not just this area but country wide.

Local businesses have been quick to support the store donating essentials by the van load, even down to kitting out the shop with shelving, tables and hanging racks. Companies including Asda, Co-op and Tilgate Bakery have committed to donate to the store each week.

Free Shop Crawley can be found at CJ’s café, Kingsland Court, Three Bridges, Crawley, RH10 1HL, on Sundays from 2pm-4pm.

Anyone wishing to donate or find out more can visit the Free Shop Crawley Facebook page www.facebook.com/freeshopcrawley  or contact the team direct on freeshopcrawley@gmail.com

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