Suffolk Positive Futures continues to provide a vital resource for young people across the county. Traditional sessions have been maintained along with new initiatives being started. We continue to build and grow the Suffolk Positive Futures project providing young people with a range of open access community activities across Suffolk to divert them away from entering the criminal justice system. These sessions have been run to offer young people a positive alternative to crime, violence and ASB as well as providing a place where young people can be safe.
The project also provides many other extras benefits for young people such as, improving levels of health and fitness, improving confidence, self-esteem and discipline. Through sport the project provides opportunity to teach people how to deal with losing as well as winning in equal measures. It provides a platform for new friendship groups to be formed, a sense of pride and respect for their local communities to be generated and also for aspirations to be raised.
We continue to have a presence across the county and access the smaller pockets of deprivation in the county that sometimes get overlooked, as well as keeping a main focus on the more urban high-profile areas of the county such as Ipswich and Lowestoft.
From the start of April 2019, we have been delivering at least one session to all 7 of the local authority areas in Suffolk.
We continue to stay flexible in our delivery in order to respond to community needs and are able to put resources and activities in these areas at short notice at the request of local partners. This is one of the main strengths of the programme.
The past 12 months have seen us deliver 2 extensive summer holiday programmes in the county incorporating the fantastic ‘fit and fed’ project, shortlisted by Persimmons Homes for a chance to win £100k in a national vote and also provided the opportunity to deliver two new street cricket programmes by the ECB and the ‘Chance to Shine’ initiative. All of these will be referenced in this report. In March 2020 we launched a brand new boxing initiative in the west of county targeting the areas of Newmarket, Brandon and Mildenhall which has been exciting for us.
The project continues to be an early intervention tool by providing meaningful opportunities at a time when young people need them the most. It can be hard to gauge exactly what impact these interventions have further down the line in the life of the young person, but we believe offering positive opportunities at an early age can have significant impact upon the rest of their lives. We have tried to use statistics, testimonies and case studies to demonstrate project impact.
As well as the open access community activities, the project has also delivered a range of targeted interventions too. Working in partnership with the Youth Justice Service, Schools and Pupil Referral Units.
A complete list of all the activities and interventions that have been delivered in the past 12 months since April 2019 can be seen in Appendix 1 (inc locations) but we have also chosen to pull out a few of these projects and discuss them throughout the report.
- Generate 13,800 attendances to the project by young people: Project achieved 13,540* attendances for the period of April 2019 to March 2020
- Provide opportunities for 1800 young people to engage in the programme: Project worked with 1862 individual young people for the period April 2019 to March 2020
- Provide opportunity for 30 young people not in education or excluded from mainstream school to gain a recognised qualification: 45 young people not in education worked towards a recognised qualification in the period April 2019 to March 2020
- Target and deliver to the most deprived areas of the county: 805 activity sessions were delivered from April 2019 to March 2020 – to areas including Ipswich, Lowestoft, Leiston, Haverhill, Newmarket, Mildenhall, Brandon and Stradbroke
- Provide 1500 hours of activity for young people, predominantly in the evening: 1427* hours of activity were provided during the period April 2019 to Sept 2019.
- Encourage at least 17 young people to take up volunteer placements with the project and externally sourced placements: 22 young people have taken up volunteering placements during the period April 2019 to March 2020. Predominantly in an informal volunteer role, supporting the head coach with session delivery and young person engagement, plus basic admin roles.
- Consult and survey 100 young people per year on the impact the project has had on their lives: 91 Survey Monkey questionnaires complete during the period of April 2019 to Sept 2019