Spring Boroughs 'one-stop-shop' hailed by organisers as making a difference to community

Some of the many people involved with the Northampton Community Safety Partnership One Stop Shop at Springs Family Centre
Some of the many people involved with the Northampton Community Safety Partnership One Stop Shop at Springs Family Centre

A 'one-stop-shop' for people's needs in Spring Boroughs was praised for trying to make a difference to one of Northampton's most challenging areas.

Springs Family Centre was a hive of activity with games, nail-painting and more for the Northampton Community Safety Partnership event today (Tuesday, August 13).

PCSO Naomi Coote with her mocked-up crime scene

PCSO Naomi Coote with her mocked-up crime scene

People of all nationalities got the chance to socialise as well as take up any issues with police officers and representatives from the council, housing association, NHS and others.

Councillor Enam Haque, who represents Castle ward on Northampton Borough Council, which includes Spring Boroughs, said: "This sort of thing brings everyone together from different communities like Asians, Somalians, Polish and others, and people can share their concerns.

"It gives people an opportunity to engage with other communities and organisations which can offer support all at the same time.

"There are a number of issues within my ward, which are similar across the town like drugs, homelessness and fly-tipping, but we have got all the services here under one roof so everyone is aware of the problems and working in coordination to fix them.

One of the girls gets her nails painted

One of the girls gets her nails painted

"And people who are less able to access the services they have got everything here and it gives the local residents an opportunity to engage with the service providers."

The day started with free massages, nail-painting and a mocked-up 'crime scene', before football and a music workshop in the afternoon and a youth club from 4pm.

Volunteer community worker Shukri Dhaibaas said: "We work so hard in this area for the kids and events like this are good because there are lots of activities we don't usually get.

"It's also nice for the women to come and socialise as they spend a lot of time in the house."

Northampton Partnership Homes housing officer Liz Percival, PC Lee Stevens and Councillor Muna Cali outside Springs Family Centre

Northampton Partnership Homes housing officer Liz Percival, PC Lee Stevens and Councillor Muna Cali outside Springs Family Centre

Northamptonshire Police, Northampton Partnership Homes and Northampton Borough Council have been working together to tackle some of the issues Spring Boroughs faces.

Police Constables Lee Stevens and Aimee Holdcraft believe the close relationship with the housing officer for the area, Liz Percival, has fostered trust between them and residents.

"There's no doubt this area has its challenges, but overall, we can safely say the quality of life for people down here is better than it was many years ago," PC Stevens said.

Liz added: "We're all just trying to work to improve the area as a whole."

Councillor Muna Cali was very supportive of the event, saying it tied in with work being done to improve the area - such as a new play park for children.

Drug dealers, fly-tipping and littering are still a problem, the Castle ward councillor said, but she said people feel empowered to do their bit.

"The whole town suffers from these issues but all we can do is play our part and make that contribution to society."