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‘Building Bridges’ With Chief Constable Steve Ashman

Newcastle United Foundation welcomed Chief Constable Steve Ashman from Northumbria Police to its Premier League Kicks football session in Westgate on Friday.

Kicks is a free football programme that engages with over 400 young people in Newcastle every week. As part of their interaction with the Foundation participants take part in ‘Building Bridges’ workshops, which are funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner.

‘Building Bridges’, which is delivered across the North East partnership with Sunderland AFC’s Foundation of Light, tackles Derby Day violence and anti-social behaviour and aims to encourage more positive social interactions amongst the regions’ football fans.

Sessions cover Derby Day violence, peer pressure, challenging stereotypes, alcohol and drug awareness and mental health.

Newcastle United Foundation Project Manager, Steve Mack, said: “Building Bridges is a really important project and we’re pleased to have the ongoing support of the PCC in helping to address Derby Day violence and so many other social issues that can have an impact on the lives of the young people in our region. It’s been great to give Chief Constable Ashman a real insight into the project.”

Chief Constable Steve Ashman said: “I was delighted to be invited down to Westgate and see first-hand the great work Building Bridges is doing in our community. “I am proud that Northumbria Police is connected to these types of schemes and will continue to do all I can to encourage this type of partnership work in the heart of our communities. “Building Bridges does fantastic work in engaging with our young people and educating them about the danger of getting caught up in anti-social behaviour and violence at football matches, and the Derby matches in particular. “They are fantastic occasions that bring people together from across Tyne and Wear and we will continue to do all we can to make sure supporters of both teams have an enjoyable day.”

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, said: “The Building Bridges programme is working brilliantly. I’m pleased to be funding a positive partnership between Newcastle United and Sunderland Football Club, which is making a real difference in tackling important issues such as anti-social behaviour.  “Here in the North East, Derby Day is always a calendar highlight with emotions incredibly high on both sides. The young people who have taken part in the Building Bridges programme appreciate that they can enjoy the football, cheer their team on during the match – but leave all rivalries on the pitch when the final whistle blows.”

To find out more about ‘Building Bridges’ contact Laura Wilson at

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