Stoke-on-Trent youth charity boosts community engagement at Intu Potteries

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Ruff and Ruby founder and manager Dawn Reynolds has been creating her dream for the youth charity and thinking of the future for Stoke’s community.

The charity has been running in Stoke-on-Trent for nearly ten years and has been making a difference to the youth of Stoke with projects, workshops and life coaching.

However, their newest venture of the Ruff and Ruby rooms at Intu Potteries is helping the youth charity to step further into the spotlight of the Stoke-on-Trent community.

She explained: “About five years ago I had a dream where we would create somewhere that could be a base for people in the community.

“A place where people could come and find a sense of belonging and purpose, so we decided to set up a community hub.”

The Potteries shopping centre got behind the idea and soon found a home for the community hub which is home to many services and experiences for everyone to enjoy.

The Ruff and Ruby rooms have a variety of facilities including a bike shop, clothing for sale, a café, hair and barber bars and a play area complete with bouncy castle, making it a great place to catch up with friends or make new ones.

The Ruff and Ruby room areas at Intu Potteries

The hub isn’t just a fun place to hang out, the profits also go towards projects run by Ruff and Ruby for the youth in Stoke-on-Trent.

Ms Reynolds added: “From the money that we raise in the community hub we will put it into the projects that we run with young people.

“For example; we do bedroom make overs for children living in poverty, we do school roadshows where we discuss really hard-hitting subjects and give out resources and we provide youth mentoring and life coaching.”

Even with the Ruff and Ruby rooms set up Dawn is still looking to the future and how to keep building on the charity to ensure that everyone gets the chance to belong and feel like they matter.

Dawn hopes that the Ruff and Ruby rooms can also be set up in other areas of Stoke-on-Trent so that many more people can benefit from the work that they do.

She said: “Obviously we’re in the centre of Stoke here but to have other hubs around the area would be amazing.

“We would be able to increase our output and support more young people to help them raise their self-esteem and future aspirations, giving them a better life.

“They would know that they can get a job, they can go to college, they can go to university and they can be the best version of themselves that they were born to be, that is our whole purpose.”

Many volunteers help and support the work the Ruff and Ruby rooms do for the youth of Stoke.

If you’re looking for a new way to give back to the community, here is Dawn explaining all the different ways that you can volunteer at Ruff and Ruby!

Dawn Reynolds Founder and Manager of Ruff and Ruby Stoke

You can find more about how you can get involved or how to get help and support at www.ruffandruby.co.uk or you can head into the community hub and see the team face-to-face.

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