Positive Futures Project
What is Positive Futures?
Positive Futures is a partnership between Bridgend County Borough Council, the Home Office and the Youth Justice Board. The Football Foundation and sporting governing bodies also support the initiative. Bridgend is only one of two areas in Wales to operate the programme and activities are focussed on the communities of Wildmill and Cornelly. A further project is being developed in the Llynfi Valley at Caerau.
The aim of the project is to use sport in order to reduce anti-social behaviour, crime and substance misuse among 10-16 year olds in targeted neighbourhoods. The intended outcomes of the initiative are:
*A reduction in youth offending in the locality of the project;
*A reduction in substance misuse amongst 10 -16 year olds participating in the project.
* An increase of regular participation in physical activity among 10 – 16 year olds participating in the project.
Sport and recreation play an important part in tackling a wide range of social exclusion problems. Sport provides opportunities to engage young people in a positive alternative to ‘hanging around’ and the substance misuse culture by promoting drug-free lifestyles and providing leadership and training opportunities.
What do local projects involve?
Different approaches are used to engage vulnerable young people into sport. Local programmes include:
*Outreach and detached work to contact young ..people at risk of exclusion.
*Coaching skills across a range of sports.
*Mentoring, using sport as a focus;
*Curriculum and extra curricular activity in schools.
*Leadership skills based around sports particularly ..challenging outdoor adventurous activities.
How are projects funded?
Much of the funding comes from Home Office core funding. The Recovered Assets Fund (money seized from drug trafficking), Sport England and Positive Futures local partnership also contribute to the funding. The Football Association has a separate football programme for football related projects.
Positive Futures is recognised as having reduced reported youth nuisance rates by half in targeted communities. Work with young people who are experiencing difficulties with school has led to a significant reduction in exclusion rates.
The Positive Futures programme is co-ordinated by a steering group involving the Youth Service, Sports Development Unit, Youth Offending Team, South Wales Police and community representatives.
For further details contact Jenny Heenan, Social Inclusion Co-ordinator on 01656 724057.