Young People given Positive Futures through Sport
The Positive Futures project, funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Gwent, Ian Johnston, and Sport Wales and led by Newport City Council's Sport and Physical Activity Development Team, offers young people fresh and engaging opportunities to become involved in sporting activities which helps them develop life skills and achieve their potential.
The programme is targeted at 10-19 year olds in Newport who are at risk of being excluded from school, not gaining qualifications and in some cases at risk of drug and alcohol misuse.
By providing quality sport, the programme acts as a positive alternative to anti-social behaviour, creating safer and more inclusive communities as a result. It has now started expanding across Gwent into Caerphilly, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent and Monmouthshire.
During the visit to Newport International Sports Village, the Deputy Minister met young people involved in Aspire which is an Alternative Education Group linked to Llanwern High School, who were taking part in a structured basketball session.
The Deputy Minister said: "I am a firm believer that sport can inspire people and change lives and communities for the better. Participation in sport brings so many benefits - it makes you feel better about yourself, builds confidence, creates opportunities for social interaction and improves health.
Through the Positive Futures programme Newport City Council are leading the way in using sport as a prevention and diversionary tool. The programme gives young people opportunities they may not otherwise have had to play sport and appreciate the value of team work. It is supporting young people to move forward with their lives and realise their full potential, creating safer and more inclusive communities as a result."
The Positive Futures project was awarded with £280,000 from Gwent PCC Ian Johnston two years ago through his Community Safety Fund grant.
Highlighting the importance of the project, the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Paul Harris, who attended the event, said: "Positive Futures Newport is an excellent example of what engaging youngsters early can achieve. The Commissioner is proud to support the project and the fantastic work they do with young people and provide the key element of funding to ensure the activities carried out by them can be sustained.
He has been so impressed with the results of the programme that he has provided additional funding to help Positive Futures expand their work throughout Gwent. He has welcomed the support of local authorities and other partner organisations in supporting the delivery and looks forward to seeing the positive results of the project as it expands."
The Leader of Newport City Council, Councillor Bob Bright, said: "The Positive Futures programme makes a real difference to children and young people in the city of Newport, by providing individual mentoring support and targeted group sessions using sport as a hook to engage some of the hardest to reach youngsters.
Positive Futures has worked with thousands of young people, helping them to learn new skills, gain qualifications and find employment. It has helped to turn young people's lives around."