Empty Stoke shop undergoing transformation into community space

A group of youngsters are turning an empty Stoke shop into somewhere for residents to meet and chat.

The team are tackling the project as part of the Princes Trust programme run by Stoke-on-Trent College.

The scheme sees young people from age 16 to 25 come together for 12 weeks of challenges including a residential week, doing work experience, and planning a community project - aimed at building confidence and developing new skills.

The Trust was approached by the City Council to renovate an unused former barbershop on Church Street into a community living area to help with Adult Social Care.

Now the Hanley based team of youngsters are raising funds, and appealing for donations of items to transform the unit.

That includes cleaning it, fixing the plumbing, and carrying out repairs.

They also want to furnish it, to create an enticing space that feels like a home away from home.

Project leader James King said: "We have got one pail of paint, but that is not going to be enough.

"We are going to need paint, couches, tables and seating - because they want to events there as well."

The group have set up a Just Giving page for people to support their efforts.

They are also looking to source items from the local area, including ceramic items, to draw on the Potteries heritage.

James said: "We want things that symbolise Stoke-on-Trent.

"Things like the Titanic, the Spitfire, and the pottery industry.

"We could even get an oatcake section in there!" 

Team member Adam Centreford from Fenton says it is good to be part of a positive change in the area.

He said: "Young people do get a bad reputation, and its nice to step out of the box and prove that we can help the community.

"Stoke-on-Trent has been going through a developmental stage for a couple of years.

"I believe when people walk past this area it might brighten their day. 

"It will give them a space to talk to people they might not normally get to speak to."

To donate items for the community space, please email Team391@email.com

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