A new youth hub providing young people with a safe place to socialise and take part in sport has opened its doors thanks to support from the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner.
Around 20 young people aged between 11-14 have so far joined the Leicester Tigers Foundation’s The Jungle youth hub since the programme launched at the heart of the Mattioli Woods Welford Road Stadium – with up to 114 young people expected to benefit over the coming months.
Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews provided grant funding worth £10,000 from his Safety Fund to launch the after-school project, which aims to inspire young people and promote inclusion through the power of sport.
Attendees have taken part in a varied programme of activities including multi-sports, e-sports and board games while also enjoying the opportunity to socialise and develop confidence and teambuilding skills in a safe and new environment.
A new video of the innovative project and how it is supporting young people has been shared on Mr Matthews’ website as part of his commitment to keep the public informed of the community work underway to keep them safe.
Mr Matthews said: “The benefits of sport go way beyond the physical. We know it helps to develop character, confidence and self-esteem as well as providing discipline and structure – all of which are very important in keeping young people focused and on a positive path.
“Preventing crime, especially youth crime, anti-social behaviour and violence, is crucial to my work as Commissioner which is why I dedicated one of my crime prevention funding rounds to the theme of children and young people.
“Leicester Tigers Foundation has significant experience engaging with hard-to-reach young people and I will be monitoring closely the impact of this project to see how we may help other young people in the future.”
Leicester Tigers Foundation is the charitable arm of Leicester Tigers and is using its strong relationships with local schools in the area to directly target young people who are at increased risk of offending and need the provision most.
The Jungle runs two days a week, Wednesdays and Thursdays, between 3.30pm and 5pm and is open to young people from nine secondary schools all within a 1.5mile radius of the stadium.
The sessions focus on a combination of practical activities and enrichment/support workshops covering areas such as county lines, drug misuse, sexual health and physical and mental wellbeing. At the end of each session, young people are provided with a healthy meal to ensure poverty barriers are overcome.
Tilly Higgs, Education Manager at Leicester Tigers Foundation, said: “The Foundation have been working with young people for several years, aiming to develop personal skills and confidence. Sport is such a powerful tool to help break down barriers and support young people and The Jungle allows us to continue this work in engaging young people in the fun and safe environment we have created at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.”
Young people can register for the club at: https://www.leicestertigers.com/the-jungle-registration.
Find out more about the new youth hub and how the funds they receive will be used: https://youtu.be/dwZPg4M531c
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Posted on Tuesday 10th January 2023