Lower Socio-economic Groups
Ashford Borough Council’s Community safety team work to develop and implement strategies to protect their local communities from crime and help people feel safe. Since the pandemic the team have observed an increase in anti-social and nuisance behaviour by young people in areas of high deprivation. After consulting with the young people, the team found that boredom, anxiety and poor mental health were all contributing factors.
To deal with these issues the team worked with Charlton Athletics Community Trust to deliver football and multisport sessions to communities most in need. Sessions initially took place across three locations: Bromley Green, Stanhope Square and Victoria Park in the summer then moved indoors to Towers School for the winter.
Engaged 390 participants
Developed new friendships
Engaged new participants
Increased activity levels
Reduced anti-social behaviour
“I’ve had fun with other people, made new friends, tried something new and really enjoyed it.” Participant
1. Partnership working. Link in with local organisations to support your offer, engage the right audience and develop exit routes.
2. Build a rapport with young people. To reduce behavioral issues, outline expectations, set clear boundaries and get to know your participants. This creates a safe and respectful environment for all.
3. Be flexible in your offer. Be prepared to adapt your offer to suit your participants and find out what activities your audience would like to try. Cricket attracted young men from Asian communities, whilst basketball interested girls.
“It really helped me gain confidence and know I can take it back home with me.” Participant
Charlton Athletics Community Trust will be using funding from the Premier League to continue the sessions at the Tower School. This had enabled the trust to employ and upskill an apprentice to deliver sessions within Ashford. The Football Academy the trust runs will also offer exit routes and produce coaches to deliver future sessions.