Pop-up van engaging with teens across the county

Angus and pop up van

A "pop-up" youth cafe which visits communities across Wiltshire to help teenagers with games, sports and educational aids is one of the legacies of the Police and Crime Commissioner's Office. 

The converted van, which has the facility for children to play computer games, iPads and carries sports equipment as well as a small kitchen to make drinks, was originally paid for by an Innovation Fund set up by PCC Angus Macpherson when his office was established in 2012.  

Youth for Christ have been running the van - firstly for the Swindon area and now for the rest of Wiltshire.  

Angus said: "This is a good example of one of the many good causes which my office funds along side financing our local Force.  Helping areas and people build a positive community which inevitably helps prevent crime. 
"This van is a great community support facility - engaging with young people and giving them something to do rather than possibly idling their time away and getting in to trouble."

Steve Dewar is the Youth for Christ leader for Wiltshire:  "This van helps us engage with and inspire young people - often under privileged teenagers -  as well as being an opportunity to work with the local police teams and other agencies to develop a positive focal point for the communities we visit.  It also helps us try and tackle the challenges of society like poverty, anti-social behaviour and children not having enough to do.
"This is a way of preempting issues in a community or area and doing proactive, positive work to prevent things like anti-social behaviour and crime from building in the first place." 

Last week, the van held a sports "week" in Devizes and this week (Mon 5 Aug - Fri 9 Aug) it will be at Stallards Park, Trowbridge every afternoon offering games and refreshments for young people.
It also visits schools during term time and Wiltshire Youth for Christ are always happy to hear from other organisations who may need the van's support. 

Steve said:  "We want to work with anyone who may want this fantastic resource - we are happy to speak to village committees, parish councils and even the county council to help support any community work they are currently doing or thinking of doing." 

Angus said:  "I am keen to promote the good work this van does as well as similar projects as they represent the good my office does through funding and supporting facilities like this to help improve the lives of people in Wiltshire." 


Published on Monday 5 August 2019.