VRU commission Sports Connect CIC to work in collaboration with other providers to deliver a Sports plus programme across Kent in areas of youth violence or vulnerability to harm
Sports Connect CIC
Kent and Medway VRU have commissioned Sports connects to provide a Sports Plus programme across the majority of Kent in areas of risk of harm to young people due to youth violence and other community issues.
The Youth Endowment Fund (YEF) have conducted a study to evaluate the positive outcomes of number of sports programmes. They concluded ‘Sports programmes could have a high impact on crime and violence’. The YEF explained they had found a number of positive factors helping to protect young people from crime:
- Sport can support positive development. It can provide children with positive peer groups and influences, support them to develop social skills, and improve their physical and mental health. It can help children develop motivation and self-regulation through committed practice and relationships with positive role models like sports coaches.
- Sport can play a role in direct prevention. Playing sport could reduce the time that children are exposed to negative influences and allow children to take risks in a safe environment.
- Sport can be a platform to engage children in other helpful interventions. Many programmes use sport to connect children to other services and activities like education, counselling, and support for drug and alcohol problems. In these programmes, sport is used a ‘hook’ to engage children, but it is the other activities which are thought to drive positive development.’
Sports Connect CIC Masters Plus programme
A two tier programme has been commissioned for Kent by the Kent and Medway Violence Reduction Unit. Across seven districts there is a core education provision, whereby two twelve week programmes are offered within schools for students to experience a variety of sports and gain education and the opportunity for training and employment.
The qualifications are achieved by students participating as young leaders in the second tier provision - a universal multi-sports community provisions across Kent in hotspot areas (areas of risk). These community provision are provided in collaboration with a number of local sports providers, ensuring there is local knowledge and enabling community relationships to develop.
The aim is to provide young people with the following outcomes, thereby reducing their risk of harm and or involvement in Youth violence and providing them with the tools to thrive within their communities:
- Young people are able to access and engage with the support they need to build strengths in their lives.
- Young people receive praise when they do well, and their strengths are acknowledged.
- Young people develop trusting relationships with professionals delivering sport, and greater opportunity to engage with other supporting community partners
- Young people are provided opportunity to gain new skills, qualification and employment within sport and activity professions
- Fewer crimes occur in the places where activity is delivered
- Young people report that places feel safer or have improved
- Young people report enhanced wellbeing and greater life satisfaction
Partner agencies and sports providers understand what works and are supported to develop these approaches within their communities
This is the list of the current provisions and where there are. However, sites however can change subject to accommodate weather, vulnerability needs and exciting new offers.
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