Kicks Enjoy MDP and Counter-Terrorism Workshop
Young people from both The Albion Foundation and Aston Villa Kicks projects come together for a West Bromwich Albion match day experience.
The Premier League initiative provides free, positive activities for young people of Sandwell, 48 weeks of the year. The Kicks project offers regular incentives including: Premier League match tickets; merchandise; competitive fixtures against other Premier League clubs; plus many others.
The Foundation work in partnership with West Midlands Police to identify areas of anti-social behaviour and youth crime to best deploy satellite sessions. Sandwell Borough and specifically West Bromwich have high rates of deprivation, social housing, teenage pregnancy, anti-social behaviour and unemployment. Sandwell has a population of 314,000 and is the 12th most deprived borough in England (out of 353). In keeping with the rest of Sandwell as a whole, West Bromwich has lower than average levels of sport and physical recreation participation. This also translates to youth unemployment – NEETs (16-24years) which correlates to 50% of 16 year olds leave school with 5 GCSES grade C or above including Maths and English compared to 60% Nationally and 47% of high schools in Sandwell ‘require improvement’. Compared to 7.5% nationally, 13.9% of 16 – 24 year olds are not in education, employment or training in the Midlands. These factors can contribute to: low self-esteem, lack of career ambition, truancy and crime for young people (Sandwell Trends SMBC Public Health data 2014).
West Midlands Police Sargent Paul Shannaghan and Officer Dave Harnett delivered an educational workshop to 26 young people and volunteers of the Kicks project. Hosted at The Albion Foundation School, the workshop focused on raising awareness of Prevent which links in with the government’s national counter terrorism strategy known as Contest. Prevent is a long term and vital element of Contest, focusing on building relationships with all members of the community and enhancing links with key organisations, which seeks to bring the whole community together. This pro-active engagement with the community aims to prevent vulnerable individuals being recruited by violent extremists. The local Policemen showed examples of extremism including right wing and Al Qaeda, demonstrating acts of terror. In addition to this they discussed the risks and vulnerabilities of recruitment to such groups; reporting processes; safeguarding awareness and promoting equality. See the work of the prevent team on www.facebook.com/wmctupreventteam. Following the workshop, all young people and staff indulged in lunch over a game of pool and table football before heading to the Midlands derby – West Bromwich Albion v Aston Villa at the Hawthorns Stadium.
A questionnaire was conducted post workshop delivery, some of the findings are detailed below:
- 79% scored the workshop an 8+ for enjoyment
- 100% said they had learnt something
- 100% said their opinion of the Police had improved
Mike Wynter, Aston Villa Kicks Coordinator said “Massive thanks to the Foundation. The lads were absolutely buzzing and they are talking about the workshop”.
Sgt Paul Shannaghan said “It’s great to have the opportunity to deliver a workshop to the young people”.
Hayley James, Foundation Kicks Coordinator said “It’s wonderful to see young people from different areas coming together. The workshop was informative and gave the audience opportunity to pose questions and queries to the Police”.