Commissioner congratulates Youth Offending Service for scooping Innovation Award

10th November 2020

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, has praised the Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly Youth Offending Service (YOS) for scooping the first ever Youth Justice Board Hwb Doeth Award for ‘innovative practice’ for its Be Me project.

Be Me is a health and beauty project that supports young girls who are at risk of offending, involved with anti-social behaviour or are already involved with the youth justice system. Be Me grew from a Street Games event where the members of the youth offending team witnessed how happy and confident a health and beauty workshop made girls feel.

Since it was established three years ago, the project has blossomed, empowering and boosting the confidence of many children. Initially aimed at girls, Be Me now welcomes young boys who are taking advantage of learning new skills and gaining invaluable support and career advice.

The service lifted not only one award, but was also runner-up for the Gwent Cars and Consequences project. This consists of a series of events that take place throughout the year and provide important messages to children to help prevent car crime and reduce offences committed by children. Working in partnership with South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Gwent Police, Barod, Newport Youth Justice Service, Monmouthshire and Torfaen YOS and Headway the brain injury association children are shown the potential effects of car crime and the devastating impact such incidents have on individuals and the emergency services.

Jeff Cuthbert said: “The Youth Justice Board has had a statutory responsibility to identify and share best practice, so I am delighted that the Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly Youth Offending Service and the Gwent Cars and Consequences project have been recognised for their outstanding work with children in Gwent.

“Reducing risk and providing intervention via projects such as Be Me and Cars and Consequences are key to reducing anti-social behaviour in our county. I hope to see more harm reduction initiatives being recognised in the future.

“Utilising the knowledge and support of businesses is an approach that I commend, as is children who are at risk being given a chance to gain skills and raise their aspirations.”

YOS Service Manager, Michaela Rogers added, “YOS staff work tirelessly and creatively to inspire, motivate and support children to live crime free lives and achieve.  The children who work with our service are asked to provide feedback on all that we do and both award winning projects consistently receive their positive comments.”

“The projects are also supported by our volunteers who give generously of their time to ensure successful outcomes.  I am proud of the investment made by all involved and delighted that their efforts have been recognised by the Youth Justice Board via the Hwb Doeth Awards.”