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A Sporting Chance for our young people

Published: 25/08/2021

Ashford Borough Council has joined forces with Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) on a year-long project which aims to use the power of sport and physical activity to create safer, stronger and more respectful communities by engaging with young people in some of our most high-need areas.

The Community Safety Partnership receives an annual crime reduction grant from the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and some of this funding has been allocated to the CACT project. This will be matched by Ashford Borough Council and, along with additional funding identified by CACT, brings the total available for this project to £50,000.

This will enable CACT to run a range of activities including a 1 to 1 mentoring programme, working with a number of young people per week for targeted intervention around crime. There will be weekly ball court/estate sessions, three crime reduction workshops, three ten-week peer enrichment programmes plus a residential trip for 30 young people to attend.

As well as this the ‘Joy of Movement’ programme within schools will encourage children to adopt a healthy, active lifestyle, combatting childhood obesity, where they will learn about the body and nutrition and take part in practical sessions.

The aims of the project are to create safer, stronger, and more respectful communities through engaging young people in positive activities within the immediate communities that they live in. In addition, the 1 to 1 mentoring sessions can reduce the risk of young people becoming involved in serious youth violence and gang related crime.

Cllr Peter Feacey, portfolio holder for Community Safety and wellbeing said: “This comprehensive project will offer support and mentoring to those young people within our borough who are struggling to engage and who are at risk of becoming involved in violence and crime.

“The range of targeted activities aims to empower them to set positive goals and aspirations for their future, which they are then supported to achieve.

“I am very proud to support this important project which will inspire our young people to forge a healthier and happier future.”