Premier League Kicks is a programme which inspires children and young people to achieve their potential and improve their wellbeing; working together to build stronger, safer and more inclusive communities.
Weekly free turn up and play informal coaching sessions are held and these include education, training and volunteering opportunities.
In Northamptonshire, the Northampton Town Community Trust deliver sessions five nights a week in Northampton, Rushden and Wellingborough. Running since September 2019, the attendance has grown steadily, with some young people volunteering as assistant coaches. We have helped to fund level 1 coaching courses, the FA’s ‘Introduction to football coaching’ qualification so young people can gain experience in coaching under the guidance of our trust community coaches. Our partners include Northants Police, Northants Office Fire Police Crime Commissioner, Northants Crimestoppers Charity, Northants Cadets, both councils and various other local partners.
Part of the programme includes crime education workshops; Kicks sessions are held in areas that would be defined as deprived, with higher crime stats and incidents of youth violence.
Premier League Kicks Co-ordinator Anna Letts teaches workshops on anti-social behaviour, knife crime, county lines, reporting crime anonymously through Fearless.org and youth violence. These workshops take place with school groups, youth groups and PL Kicks football groups and are focused on hearing youth voice. Providing a secure space to listen to what young people are affected by crime wise in their community, talking about how they can stay safe and small things they can do to improve the areas they live in.
In September, Anna worked with the PL Kicks football group at Queensway, Wellingborough using Glamis Hall as a base. The young people in attendance were open and honest about sharing their worries; this has been timely in the wake of a fatal stabbing in the Queensway area recently. They shared ideas on how to change things and learnt what is defined as a crime and why it is important to report anti-social behaviour. Using football as the engaging tool, PL Kicks have been able to engage over 260 young people since the programme started.
The Northampton Town Community Trust also works in partnership with newly created ‘Off the Streets’ community group who aim to eradicate knife crime in North Northants through positive diversionary activity and community initiatives.
What the parents of those attending say:
• This project helps my son mix with others and it also keeps him off the streets.
• It’s a good project and it keeps children fit and healthy. It’s a lovely idea and keeps them occupied.
• I think it’s a brilliant opportunity for learning new skills, keeping fit and making new friends in a safe and friendly environment.
Participant feedback on what they have learnt and improved their knowledge on:
-what anti social behaviour is,
-how to identify a crime,
-how to report crime using the Fearless.org website,
-why people do not want to report crime,
-why it is important to speak up and report crime,
-how the police help us prevent crime,
-how to keep myself safe if I see a crime.
To register a child (aged 8-18) please visit: ntfccommunity.co.uk/pl-kicks