Young people aged 11-19 from all over West Lancashire can come and enjoy sport, music and a safe place to chill out with new ‘Doorstep Sport’ sessions.
'Doorstep Sport' is a nationally recognised scheme run by the charity StreetGames, which also offers work experience and training opportunities for those aged over 16.
A six-week pilot project to bring the programme, which started on 13 May, to Skelmersdale has been set up by West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership (CSP) with funding from the Lancashire Police Crime Commissioner.
Wigan Athletic Community Trust, Evermoor Hub, Tanhouse Community Centre, West Lancashire Borough Council's More Positive Together Team and the Neighbourhood Policing Team are all working together to provide exciting activities for the young people. Sessions take place 6pm-8pm at Evermoor Hub on Wednesdays and Tanhouse Community Centre on Fridays.
Heidi McDougall, West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership Chairperson, said: "The Partnership is delighted to be able to bring StreetGames to West Lancashire and we are sure all the young people who take part will really enjoy all the programme has to offer."
As well as providing young people with a number of exciting activities and opportunities to be active, Doorstep Sport also reduces boredom and youth congregation and the associated impact it can have upon anti-social behaviour.
The West Lancashire Neighbourhood Policing Team have been given permission by Lancashire County Council in partnership with West Lancashire Children & Family Wellbeing Service to use one of their Mobile Vans ‘Young People’s Community Hub’ which has been converted into a Games Bus. The Police will utilise the Games Bus to assist in improving relationships with local young people who are harder to reach with the aim of helping to address community concerns about anti-social behaviour.
Clive Grunshaw, Police and Crime Commissioner added: "Developing safe and confident communities is a key priority in my police and crime plan and through sporting activities youngsters develop skills such as respect, discipline and communication. I hope this project will give young people something positive to do in their community and the opportunity to enjoy themselves in an environment away from any stress or pressure they may experience at home.
"At the heart of my Community Action Fund is supporting groups and initiatives such as these to help tackle local concerns. The Games Bus will not only provide a visible presence, but importantly bring together police with local youths to enable a rapport to be built and provide a point of interest where they can congregate preventing some members of the wider community from feeling vulnerable."
Utilising funding provided by the CSP, the Games Bus will be kitted out with a new TV, a PS4 and two iPad Airs for young people to use.
Parents and young people can contact Steven Eastwood from Wigan Athletic Football Club on 01942 318090, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the StreetGames scheme.