It has been just over a year since Sandyford Community Fire Station opened its doors to the public and to date it has been a huge success.
"The community facilities have been a great success and have given us the opportunity to work with a number of organisations we perhaps wouldn’t have worked with otherwise."
Community Liaison Officer, Ruth Haigh
The community facilities are often fully booked each month with around 50 different partners, organisations, community groups, schools and charities using the free facilities.
The use of the facilities differs per group, including gentle exercise, training, meetings and community activity. Community Liaison Officer, Ruth Haigh said: "The community facilities have been a great success and have given us the opportunity to work with a number of organisations we perhaps wouldn’t have worked with otherwise.
"We have been able to work together on join projects and initiatives with a variety of groups including local brownies, guides, cubs and scouts, Kidsgrove Wheelers and our local Asda."
Several community events have been held by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service over the last year, attracting over 700 visitors. One of the most successful events was the ‘Big Lunch’ held earlier this year which was attended by 150 people, many of which have since requested a similar event be held again soon.
Station Manager, Glynn Luznyj added: "The community facilities at Sandyford have opened many new doors for the Fire Service as well as the people using the facilities.
"We now have regular school visits and lessons often take place on station which is a great interactive asset for the local children. We also launched a garden project which sees pupils from three primary schools and a high school tending to their own vegetable patches on site.
"This project has not only promoted healthy eating amongst the children but has also allowed us to engage directly with the children on a regular basis."
Partner and community groups can book the new facilities, which seat up to 30 people, by ringing 01785 898734/01785 898897 during office hours or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Slots are available weekdays from 9am – 10pm and at weekends from 9am – 5pm.