Ish Latif - St Matthews Big Local
A project funded by Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews to increase sports opportunities for young people is already helping to drive down anti-social behaviour.
The PCC awarded St Matthews Big Local £9,995 from his Safety Fund to deliver four hours of daily sports activities during school holidays and a Friday evening football session to reduce anti-social behaviour on the St Matthews estate in Leicester.
Since launching, the scheme has seen more than 1,000 young people register with over 250 young people attending each week.
Community workers say the project has already had a positive impact on community safety with less incidents of anti-social behaviour and disorder seen.
The project now features in a new video on the Commissioner’s website as part of his pledge to keep the public informed of the work taking place to make their communities safer.
Mr Matthews said: “This project has had a fantastic response since launching and we are already starting to see the dividends of engaging young people in these positive activities with a decline in anti-social behaviour.
“Sport is a tried and tested way of nurturing self-esteem and confidence and pushing young people to reach their full potential. The sheer volume of young people registering for these sessions shows how desperately needed it is in the area and the importance of investing in these projects as part of a preventative solution to anti-social behaviour and disorder. I am looking forward to hearing of further successes in the future.”
Ish Latif, Sports Programme Manager, said: “Sport is a great vehicle for change. For many young people, it is a real motivating factor, it can inspire young people to think positively, to behave positively and to act positively.
“By providing inspirational opportunities, this project diverts young people from negative influences that lead to negative actions and strengthens community relationships.
“This project gives young people access to sports opportunities at a time when there is very little provision for them to engage with, particularly Friday’s nights and during the school holidays when ASB is at its highest.”
The project aims to educate the young people it engages with on the dangers of youth crime and violence as well as offer positive pathways for young people to achieve their ambitions.
A community worker on the St Matthews estate said: “It’s good to see the young people playing sports and doing something positive with their time instead of just hanging around on the streets and getting into trouble.
“This project provides a safe space for young people, develops community connections and skills by linking young people through sports. As a result of this, we are seeing a decrease in ASB and disorder. It is important that we continue to work hard to strengthen the community by developing relationships between young people and the Police so they have confidence in the Police.”
To view the video on St Matthews Big Local and how the funds they receive are being used:
Telephone 01283 821012
Mobile 07702 541401
Posted on Thursday 23rd February 2023