STAFF from Nottingham’s intu Victoria Centre and intu Broadmarsh have continued their partnership with local charity Epic Partners by supporting its regular ‘Community Games’ holiday club this week (24-26 October).
Since the partnership began 12 months ago, 18 members of intu staff have given more than 500 hours to volunteer at the Community Games – and attendance at the holiday club has increased by 65%.
In addition to providing volunteers, intu previously donated £2,000 to expand the provision offered by Epic Partners. With this fund – and working with intu retailers – the charity has been able to substantially raise the quality of activities for children taking part, hosting one-off events such as zorbing and expanding arts and craft projects with materials donated from retailers.
On the final day of the Community Games programme, six children were selected to receive the VIP treatment at intu Victoria Centre as part of an end-of-week reward programme, designed to reward their good behaviour. Rewards included a goody hamper with gifts donated by Tiger and lunch at Thaikhun.
Nigel Wheatley, general manager for intu in Nottingham, said: “We have been working with Epic Partners for a year now and we always get fantastic feedback from both our staff volunteering and the Epic Partners team. Our staff get so much out of the project and really enjoy supporting and building long-term relationships with the children.
“This is a really worthwhile project and fantastic for both the young children who have the chance to take part in fun and educational activities, and for our team who are able to act as mentors and make a positive impact on the community.”
Community Games – which now supports 550 young people aged 5-12 in the St Ann’s and Sneinton areas of Nottingham – is a proven successful programme of educational and activities during the school holidays. The cost per child is £2 a day or £3 per family, which entitles young children to enjoy whole day of activities.
Sharen Morgan, project coordinator at Epic Partners, said: “As a small charity, funding is stretched so we are not always able to offer our young people the opportunity to do something different and creative, so support from businesses such as intu is absolutely essential for us.
“Through support from intu, we have been able to provide a better quality of activities which are naturally costlier to run, including more trips and external companies running one-off sessions.
“With the volunteering hours and personnel support intu has provided, we have been able to accommodate more children on our ‘walking bus’ service. This means that parents only need to get children to a local primary school and Epic staff can provide travel supervision to the Community Games venue.”