Youth projects kick off thanks to Safer Rotherham Partnership funding

Published Wednesday, 14th December 2016
building bridges
Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Billings and Cllr Hoddinott meet young people at the Building Bridges project

Young people in Rotherham are set to benefit from two new projects funded by the Safer Rotherham Partnership.

The Partnership has recently provided funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner to Rotherham United Community Sports Trust (RUCST) for its Kicks and Building Bridges projects. 

The Building Bridges project aims to connect young people who are of different faiths and backgrounds, but living parallel lives. Using film and the arts as a way of communicating, the project is an opportunity to give insight in to what it is like to be growing up in Rotherham in 2016 – looking at issues of vulnerability, racism, pride and self-identity.

As well as engaging with vulnerable young people and better understanding the risks that they face in the local community, the project will shed more light on the effect of crime and anti-social behaviour and encourage the young people to feel confident in reporting hate crime. Fifty young people will become “community cohesion advocates” and receive training on how to recognise hate crime and how to report it.

This week Cllr Emma Hoddinott, Chair of the Safer Rotherham Partnership, and the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, visited a session of the Building Bridges project to find out more about the work the young people are doing.

Cllr Hoddinott, who is also the Council’s Cabinet Member for Waste, Roads and Community Safety, said: “It’s great to see young people from all over Rotherham coming together to discuss issues facing their local community. I hope this project will help them become great advocates for Rotherham.” 

Jamie Noble, Head of Community at Rotherham United Community Sports Trust, said: “We’re thrilled to have secured support from the Safer Rotherham Partnership for these two new projects. 

“We’re confident that the Kicks and Building Bridges projects will deliver a wide range of benefits for young people – from access to safe sporting and physical activities, to building positive relationships and encouraging creativity and open expression - and their communities.”

Dr Alan Billings, Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, said: “I allocate funding to each of the Community Safety Partnerships in South Yorkshire. In Rotherham this funding has been utilised to support worthwhile projects.

“I am pleased that this funding has contributed to delivering additional activities for young people in the community. I also welcome the news that Rotherham United Community Sports Trust match funded allowing them to deliver more sessions to a wider section of the community.”

The Kicks project is a nationally recognised initiative, which delivers football sessions and tournaments for young people with challenging or risky behaviours. The project focuses on building positive relationships and reducing anti-social behaviour and low level crime in the community. Delivered by RUCST, the project has already involved over 100 young people and has also secured match funding of £35,000 from the Premier League Charitable Fund.

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