Northumbria Chief Constable Visits Westgate Kicks
Newcastle United Foundation welcomed Northumbria Police Chief Constable Winton Keenen to its Premier League Kicks session at Westgate on Friday.
The Chief Constable took the time to meet young players participating in the Kicks programme and observe how the Foundation harnesses the power of football to help hard-to-reach youngsters in some of the most high-need areas raise their aspirations and stay away from anti-social behaviour.
Staff from the Foundation then led a discussion around the charity’s other community projects, including Onside and its joint project with Newcastle Youth Offending Team.
Supported by the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Dame Vera Baird QC, Onside aims to help primary school children discuss topics such as racism, sexism, religion and bullying in order to tackle discrimination and hate crime as well as raising awareness of diversity and equality.
Through its work with Newcastle Youth Offending Team, Newcastle United Foundation has worked with 60 young people in the last year who were known to the Police for a range of anti-social behaviour offences.
The project provides young people with 1-2-1 support and access to positive activities designed to change their behaviour. In addition, thanks to funding from the Home Office, the Foundation is able to deliver a number of educational workshops and assemblies to schools across the region.
The Foundation also supports young people by signposting them onto other projects that could help them develop further including Employability Support, NCS and Volunteering. A number of volunteers who started out as Kicks participants have made the transition to sessional staff, part time and full time coaches.
Funded across the region by the Premier League, Sport England, Newcastle City Council, and Postcode Community Trust; free PL Kicks sessions are delivered at 12 different venues across Newcastle, North Tyneside, Gateshead and Northumberland.
Steve Mack, Community Programmes Manager at Newcastle United Foundation said: “Kicks has been a flagship programme for Newcastle United Foundation since our inception ten years ago and it remains an important project in ensuring we make a positive impact on young people in our communities.
“It’s been great to give Chief Constable Keenen a real insight into the project and see the difference ourselves and the Premier League can make to our participants lives going forward.”
Chief Constable Keenen said: “It has been fantastic to see how Kicks is inspiring young people across the North East.
“As a Force, we are committed to working with partners to support younger members of our communities.
“We want to see everyone given opportunities to reach their full potential and I commend platforms like this for helping people achieve their goals.”
Last year, almost 2,000 young people played football for free through the programme.