Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service Promoting a Healthier Lifestyle

January 13, 2014
Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service Promoting a Healthier Lifestyle

When Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service first contacted us about purchasing an 18m x 12m StreetStadia Portable Football Pitch, we were absolutely delighted – we have a number of well established friendships in the Fire Service - but after demonstrating the StreetStadia in action and explaining what their counterparts at Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service were up to, they decided to invest in two of our systems.

We wanted to tell you more about our friends in Cumbria and a what a great job they are doing but instead we decided to let them tell you for themselves.  We put a number of questions to Valerie Ayre, Programme Officer at Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service, and here’s what she told us.

What attracted you to StreetStadia?

We were attracted to StreetStadia as an exciting and effective way of engaging with our diverse communities and promoting healthier active lifestyles across the region.  The Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service were impressed by its adaptability and ease of use.  For example, in 40 minutes we can have a safe, visible and useful portable sports arena.  The StreetStadia can be towed and set up all over the county thanks to its rigid box trailer.

The physical appearance of the StreetStadia offers a high profile visual impact.  When used with floodlights the cages are highly visible and attract a great deal of attention.

We were very impressed with the attention paid by the staff at StreetStadia to the issue of health and safety both before and after purchase.  We were shown how to conduct a thorough risk assessment and after our initial training session, nobody was left in any doubt as to how the StreetStadia should be used.  We were raring to go!

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How did you raise the funds purchase the StreetStadia?

With funding from the Primary Care Trust (PCT), Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service purchased two StreetStadia portable football pitches for use by ourselves and our partners.  One of the sports arenas is used in the Barrow-in-Furness and South Lakes area while the other one is stationed in the North & West of Cumbria.  Both arenas are a useful community engagement tool, already proving popular and successful at various community events.

These cages are for the benefit of the communities in their respective areas.  They can be used to promote health & wellbeing, to help engage with hard to reach groups & rural communities, provide meaningful & positive activity and enable the successful promotion of various community safety initiatives.

Tell us about your outreach project?

We have used our courts for many different events.  One such event – the ‘Big Shout’ summer event – was hosted at an outdoor centre for 400 young people from across the county who were brought together for a day of team building and personal development.

Other projects include POWW (Positive Opportunities at Weekends in the West) which was a series of events held on Friday evenings during school holiday periods.  These were in partnership with the local Police, Health Agencies, Connexions and other organisations.  The idea behind the evenings was to provide fun entertainment with lots of free activities organised in a safe environment for local young people to attend.  The ultimate goal was to help reduce the anti-social behaviour at that time.

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What are your plans for the future?

The StreetStadia has already been well received in the communities where we have been running projects.  This enthusiasm from residents means it is increasingly beneficial for our partners to get involved and engage with some of Cumbria’s harder to reach groups.  There is also ample opportunity to combine this fun but useful facility with more serious messages i.e. messages around ASB (Anti social behaviour), drugs, fire safety and other pressing issues.  The kids don’t seem to mind learning when fun’s involved!!

StreetStadia still remains the only product of it’s kind to be manufactured here in the UK.  If you would like more information on StreetStadia please contact our friendly team on 01302 725577 or email us.



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