Kicks is an inclusion project that aims to create safer and stronger communities in targeted areas of high youth crime and anti-social behaviour identified by the Police. This is achieved by providing free positive activities, using the brand of West Bromwich Albion, to engage young people between the ages of 12-18 years.
Kicks uses the power and appeal of professional football clubs’ brands to engage young people who may otherwise be difficult to reach. The programme aims to target some of the most challenging and disadvantaged communities which suffer from higher rates of crime and anti-social behaviour. It was founded as a partnership between the Premier League and the Metropolitan Police. The programme’s overall vision is:
“To create safer, stronger, more respectful communities through the development of young people’s potential.”
- Engage young people, male and female, in a range of constructive activities.
- Increase the playing, coaching and officiating opportunities for participants.
- Break down barriers between the police and young people.
- Reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the targeted neighbourhoods.
- Encourage volunteering within projects and throughout the target neighbourhoods.
- Create routes into education, training and employment
- Increase young people’s interest in and connections with the professional game.
The Kicks Model
Kicks projects are delivered using a consistent format over 48 weeks per year, while having the flexibility to develop our own local ‘personality’ to reflect specific needs of the communities in which we are based. This long term focused approach builds trust and enables relationships to be built and maintained with young people, allowing for development opportunities beyond football. Sessions typically involve football but others offer other activities such as dance and music.
Targeting – Right Places, Right Times
Kicks is targeted geographically with delivery aimed at communities where young people are considered to be of greater risk in terms of being affected by crime, either as victims or potential offenders. With partner agency guidance and a review of intelligence and current provision, local Kicks partners, including the police and local authority, proactively identify the project locations and influence the days and times of provision. This is often based on factors such as levels of deprivation, crime and anti-social behaviour.
The right activities for young people – addressing recreational needs plus personal, social and community issues
Kicks harnesses the extraordinary power of football and kudos of the professional club brands in young peoples’ lives. However, Kicks is not simply a football programme.
The ‘flexible’ approach, within each Kicks project’s schedule, allows us to continually adapt and refresh activity to maintain interest, or engage other groups who may not have the same passion as others do for football.
The range of activities provided across the Kicks network sees a huge range of other sports, music, arts and social development activities delivered. The Kicks provision also extends to include a wide range of personal development activities covering issues from healthy eating, sexual health and career development sessions to workshops on the dangers of getting involved in drugs and alcohol, gangs or carrying weapons.
Since its conception Kicks has embedded a culture of volunteering at each project and increased the quantity and quality of volunteering opportunities open to young people. The programme has provided an environment to home grow positive local role models and deliverers of the future from within target communities. Alongside the volunteering pathways Kicks projects tailor the delivery of accredited outcomes and qualifications to the needs of participants, this results in tangible educational, training and employment outcomes being achieved by young people engaging with Kicks.
“Kicks has given me the opportunity to be involved with young people, giving them opportunities to take part in positive activities instead of being on the street. Kicks gives them a safe place to go as well as giving them guidance and advice.”
Harley Simpson Kicks Volunteer
“Kicks is great because it brings young people together from different areas in a safe place. The activities on offer are attractive and more importantly are free.”
Dean Burton, Kicks Volunteer
“I love coming to Kicks because I get to play football for free with my mates in a good facility.”
Shane, Kicks young person
Tyrell, Kicks young person
“That was really eye opening. The information was really useful even for someone like me.”
George, Kicks young person talking after receiving a gun and knife crime workshop