Part of the Northampton Town Community Trust’s Premier League Kicks programme includes crime awareness education and social action. Crime awareness education goes hand in hand with the football.
Football provides positive diversionary activity for young people, while education enables young people to make better choices and contribute to their communities in a positive way. Please see ntfccommunity.co.uk/crime-ambassadors
Recently, students from the Parker Academy in Daventry and Chederit School in Middleton Cheney have taken part in student leadership training for the role of ‘anti-crime ambassadors’ to raise awareness around crime and act as role models to educate younger pupils. Anti-crime messages and education are powerful coming from local young people giving up their time who care about their neighbourhoods and want to make a difference. The idea is to empower young people to identify and discuss the areas of crime that affect their community and explore how they can raise awareness around them through social action. Using youth voice as a tool to help improve the safety of local communities.
What is youth social action?
Youth social action refers to activities that young people do to make a positive difference to others or the environment. It should:
· Be youth-led
· Be challenging
· Have social impact
· Allow progression to other opportunities
· Be embedded in a young person’s life
· Enable reflection about the value of the activity
Year 9s from the Parker Academy and years 8-11 at Chenderit took part in various activities to discuss and explore leadership skills. They learnt about various crime topics including reporting anonymously via Fearless.org (Crimestoppers for young people), hate language and crime, weapons, anti-social behaviour. They worked in groups to research and create presentations and interactive workshops to present to year 5/6 pupils in the near future at local feeder primary schools. They chose to focus on topics such as hate crime, anti-social behaviour, peer pressure, scenarios about making choices, keeping safe and the consequences of carrying knives.
Feedback from the students about what they learnt:
• I learnt that drugs is not good and the importance of not turning a blind eye to criminal activity.
• I learnt that self-defence isn’t an excuse for carrying a knife
• How to know signs of crime and how to report it to Fearless.org
• About the effects of crime and how important it is to report crime.
What they wanted the younger pupils to learn:
• Things that they could do without realising that could affect others.
• What they can do in hard situations.
• To understand the negative use of drugs and weapons.
• That they are not alone and they can stay safe.
• That weapons are wrong and dangerous.
“We selected students who had the potential to be good leaders and who we felt that, through the leadership of others, would gain the greatest benefit," said Robi Brenchley, Safeguarding and Welfare Assistant, Chenderit School.
"Students had some very animated conversations and learnt some key knowledge about crime, how to report it and prevent it. Following this programme our ambassadors are now able share their knowledge with the wider community.”
Parker anti-crime ambassadors then visited Falconers Hill Primary Academy to work with year 5/6 students. The student leaders did a fantastic job, coming across confidently and professionally to share their messages on crime awareness and prevention. The year 5 and 6 pupils enthusiastically took part in various activities including true/false quizzes, creating posters, acting out scenarios in role play, voting for answers in multiple choice questions. They listened respectfully to the year 9s and fed back what they had learnt. This is youth voice in action, empowering students to act on what matters to them in their local community.
“The leaders are good at explaining things, they are good at telling us what to do and how.”
“I learnt the definition of anti-social behaviour and what it is.”
“They did a good job giving us time to act in the role play part, we enjoyed doing that.”
One of the year 5 teachers from Falconers Hill shared that “The children have learnt what protected characteristics are.”
The year 9s had this to say about the experience:
“It was easier to talk to this age group than our own age. It was also easier to talk about things I know about.” Jayden
“At the start, I felt nervous, towards the end I got into it and felt comfortable.” Charlie
“It was good, the children were very involved and listened well. I was happy that they learnt what we had planned.” Lola
Miss Townsend from Parker Academy, said: “I am so proud of our students. They started off a bit nervous then became more confident as they went through their workshops. They showed resilience if something didn’t go quite to plan, didn’t panic, they adapted on the spot which shows how well planned and rehearsed they are. Through doing this training, they have improved their confidence, communication skills and got used to working with different people."
This programme is funded by West Northants Community Grants. For more about anti-crime ambassador training and crime awareness workshops, please email firstname.lastname@example.org