Community Space Challenge
Community Space Challenge (CSC) is a six-year, Big Lottery-funded programme that works with young people and their communities in 70 locations across England to improve their local public spaces.
Voted Best Lottery-funded environment programme in 2012, the programme enables young people to gain basic qualifications and employability skills through working together on projects that bring communities together – in schools, youth centres and community centres and on beaches and housing estates.
In 2012 additional funding from the Cabinet Office’s Social Action Fund enabled 15 of the original 70 project to add ‘All Ages’ initiatives -actively working with adults and the wider community to improve local spaces. 6,000 new All Ages volunteering opportunities have been created and All Ages projects have generated £150,000 in donations of tools, refreshments and other resources for community space initiatives.
- over 1,400 spaces have been improved
- over 142,00 young people aged 8 to 17-years-old have put in over 146,000 hours (or nearly 17 ‘24/7’ years)of volunteering
- 2,391 young people have gone from the project to education, training or employment, and 3,149 have secured an accredited award
- 75% of those who had been in trouble with the police reported being in trouble less or not at all since they started taking part
- 65% of young people have reported feeling more a part of their community after being involved and 82% now feel that can make a difference to improve it.
In 2011, the University of York conducted research into the impacts of the programme. Using standard Treasury Green Book methodology, their estimates of the financial impact of the programme suggest that benefits exceeded costs by around 14% (across the70 projects) , or a net gain of around £240,000 per year across the programme.
‘Young people say they’re not into gardening/green stuff, but you start talking and doing and you see the light come on in their eyes. It’s not about age; it’s for everyone. But they don’t like the rain!’
Vinni O Connell, Southwark CSC.
Community Space Challenge in your community
79% of those surveyed said that they want to do something like CSC again in the future – that’s nearly 8,000 young people across the programme. We can help you deliver award-winning environmental work in your community.