page 13 – sport tackles antisocial behaviour

sport tackles antisocial behaviour

Weekly sports sessions for youngsters to tackle antisocial behaviour in Peterlee have been funded by County Durham Housing Group.

Working with national charity StreetGames, new sports sessions and a mental health ‘first aid’ course are being delivered in Peterlee town centre.

Castle Dene Shopping Centre will host sports sessions for 10 to 16 year-old’s  every Tuesday evening, as part of a new initiative to provide positive opportunities for young people.

StreetGames aims to reduce antisocial behaviour in Peterlee town centre by providing tailored support for young people in the area. It follows the success of other local schemes for young people including Groundwork youth provision, Peterlee Community Garden and the Sliding Door Project.

The sports and physical activity sessions delivered by StreetGames will run alongside with mental health elements in conjunction with Wellbeing for Life.

The six-month long project has been supported by County Durham Housing Group, which secured £5000 from public sector procurement organisation Prosper to make the sessions possible.

County Durham Housing Group Funding Officer, Damian Pearson, said: “This project has been designed to tackle a specific issue in a very positive way.

“We were very happy to fund StreetGames to deliver these sessions. They will directly benefit the young people involved and give them a creative outlet on an evening. But they will also benefit the wider community by encouraging everyone taking part to attend a structured event, rather than some of the alternatives that can lead to reports of antisocial behaviour.”

The initiative has been supported by Peterlee Town Council, Castle Dene Shopping Centre, local business and Durham Police.

 

Police Community Support Officer, Michelle Burr, from Peterlee Neighbourhood Team, said: “We believe sport has a critical part to play in addressing the issues faced by those living in the poorest communities.

“We want this project to be led by young people and for them to take ownership of it, with the support of our staff, Groundwork staff and local volunteers, and completely make it their own.

“Sport teaches key skills such as teamwork, understanding and self-discipline, brings people together, creates pride in a community, breaks down social boundaries, and inspires people to make a difference in their own lives and for others.

“We are confident these sessions can empower young people to kick-start a cycle of positive change that echoes throughout their entire community.”

The sessions are completely free to attend and will initially run from February 5 until May 7. It is hoped to continue the initiative further if it is successful and funding can be secured.

Pictured above: Damian Pearson from County Durham Housing Group.