Youth music, football and swimming
From 2001 -2011 This project will give an opportunity to some young people to learn new skills and improve those they have already in acting, dancing, singing and poetry. These skills may lead them to a career in music and drama. The project will also contribute in reduction of the number of young people involved in anti social behaviour, drug and alcohol misuse and sexual exploitation. The project will also contribute to the reduction of vandalism and drug related crimes in many areas of Plymouth and help particularly senior citizens who are victims of these evil acts to feel more secure and safe. The project will also help children to escape school exclusion and anti social behaviours orders with which many of those taking part may have been issued already. They will have the chance of staying in education and benefit from it in the future. Some of these children are refugees and asylum seekers, whose families are in distress and destitute with financial problems meaning that they are unable to access social welfare benefits, health care, jobs or housing and survive on charity and food parcels. Most of these children cannot afford to pay for leisure activities. They also face language barriers because English is not their first language and they are unable to read and write as well. Due to these conditions they risk being involved in anti social behaviour or face being used by criminals who might sexually exploit them because of their poverty and ignorance. The Chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, Trevor Phillips said that ‘many black/African children suffered from the culture where it isn’t cool to be clever’ and they lacked self-esteem and good role models. Figures published in recent years show black/African teenagers continue to lag far behind their white classmates at GCSE levels. For example, 35.7% of black pupils in England scored at least – C grades at GCSE, compared with the national average of 51.9%. Many of these children surveyed either spent their time at home and consequently they live in isolation and spend hours in front of the TV or causing nuisance to their parents and neighbours.
From 2002-2011 The football team was continues to be well supported each week and ANM now has a team in the local Junior League, which has contributed significantly to breaking down cultural barriers and building friendships with the local community. The team has been successful in winning trophies at junior level and continues to attract new members. The adult team (over 18s and above) are involved in a number of “friendly” matches with local non-league teams at this stage and continues to seek funding for membership of the local Football Association for the new season.
Football has changed my life
The Youth Cafe provides free children, music tuition and refreshments and continues to operate with 35 young people attending on are regular basis every Friday and Saturday evening mainly from ages 10-19. Meeting in a safe and accessible location, the Cafe has proved very popular and the young people are supervised by volunteer Youth leaders who assist them to plan and organise the programme of activities each week which include music, table tennis, table football, play station games etc.. Three young people have successfully achieved the Plym Youth Award from Plymouth City Council Youth Services. The project is very ‘young people inspired and led’ and many worthwhile volunteering opportunities have been created as a direct result which contribute to developing those involved as well as providing them with the chance to acquire a range of interpersonal skills. It has succeeded in reinforcing a possible image of youth and reducing incidents of anti-social behaviour and improving access to Leisure activities for disadvantaged children. The project has been made possible by grant funding from BBC Children in Need.