A HARTLEPOOL scheme which helps to reduce anti-social behaviour has put itself in the running for an award.
The Targeted Outreach Project, based at the Belle Vue Community, Sports and Youth Centre in Kendal Road, becomes one of more than 40 entries in this year’s Pride of Hartlepool competition.
Its work in the Hartlepool community has made a real difference as levels of anti-social behaviour have plummeted by 45 per cent since it started.
Co-ordinator Nicola Evans explained why the scheme was so important – and why it should stand a chance of winning an award.
“The project has exceeded expectations. The team is well motivated and managed and has proved itself capable of building good relations with residents and other youth workers as well as young people.
“Comparing the six months prior to the start of the project with the same period the following year the statistics speak for themselves.
“There has been a 45 per cent reduction in the number of reports from the police to the anti-social behaviour unit and drops in proportion of young people who are stopped being in possession of alcohol.”
The scheme is funded by the Safer Hartlepool Partnership and delivered by eight staff including Nicola.
She said: “Staff will deliver activities that interest the young people, reducing the impact of them hanging around on the streets with the potential of getting into trouble.”
Nicola highlighted some of the projects which were helping to change the attitudes of young people.
She said one group of young people were “causing several problems” but, after discussions with their parents, the project got them involved in a youth project and even picked them up in a minibus so they could get along.
Now, they’re regular members of local activities.
Another group of young people were hanging around inside a school playground every evening, causing criminal damage and drinking alcohol.
But when the group members spoke to them, they soon realised the youngsters just needed some sport activities to get involved in.
Now, that same group of youngsters have asked if they can go on a residential course next month to learn more about team building.