This report looks back on what was achieved by Suffolk Positive Futures over the past 12 months. A year in which despite coming out of restrictions we have again been able to work with and support hundreds of young people and demonstrate an ability to be agile, flexible and responsive to the needs of those we work with, whether it is those who participate in our services or those who commission us.
“I have seen first-hand the positive impact that Suffolk Positive Futures can have on young people. The project offers young people a positive alternative to crime and violence, giving them positive role models and an opportunity to gain qualifications. It is a chance to set them on the right path to be a good citizen and make a positive contribution to Suffolk.”
– Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner
In the last year:
- 1,187 young people have attended the project
- Over 1,100 hours of activity have been delivered
- 11,782 attendances to the project
Suffolk Positive Futures
Catch22 Suffolk Positive Futures aims to transform young people’s lives and have a significant impact on reducing crime and youth violence in local communities, while promoting positive emotional wellbeing.
Suffolk Positive Futures attempts to make Suffolk a safer place by engaging with and directly delivering interventions to young people. These interventions focus on outreach sport sessions that are available on a young person’s doorstep in the communities most at need. The project also delivers alternative curriculum provision in schools.
Since 2013 the project has been supported by the Office of the Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner. The service currently contributes to the Police and Crime Plan for Suffolk 2022-2025, linked to crime and ASB. The Project also contributes to achieving social and health benefits for young people across Suffolk.
Catch22 Suffolk Positive Futures is designed to reach young people on their streets, on their estates, at times when they are most in need. Over the last nineteen years the project has been transforming young people’s lives and having a significant impact in some of the most deprived communities in Suffolk. The project does this by providing long-term support to vulnerable 10-19 year olds at risk of crime and ASB.
The project delivers an ‘early intervention’ approach to tackling crime and anti-social behaviour by providing a compelling alternative. The project contributes to a number of key priorities in relation to making Suffolk a safer area for all by:
- diverting young people from involvement in ASB and gang related activity, especially the young people on the periphery of this activity
- supporting local communities to tackle ASB, through engagement and diversion
- addressing the risk factors and strengthening the protective factors to enable young people to choose leadership and positive community action instead of crime
- reducing crime and, by preventing offending and anti-social behaviour, decreasing demand for frontline criminal justice services
The project’s main tool to achieving the above is through the delivery of sports-based activity. The emphasis is on providing the activity at the right place, the right time and at the right price (free). Activities that have been tried and tested within the programme include football, cricket, dodgeball, fitness sessions, boxing and dance. Holiday hunger projects and summer diversionary projects also further support our aims, as well as delivering sports leadership qualifications, drug and alcohol, and healthy living awareness raising sessions.
The staffing structure of the project includes the employment of 2 full time permanent staff (Project Manager & Project Coordinator) and approximately 15 sessional staff (Sports coaches). The staff are on the ground, they know the areas; they know the community, and they are trusted. The service is funded through a wide variety of funding partners including the Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, local authorities, charitable foundations and sports based organisations.
The project also utilises volunteers in the project. Often our volunteers have been service users, who want to give something back to the project and the community. Based on the positive impact the service has and for the many years we’ve been delivering the project, we believe that young people who have a firm stake in their community are less likely to commit crime or to engage in anti-social behaviour.
Key aspects of our service are:
- an innovative approach to delivering services that includes operating outside standard service hours e.g. Friday night provision when traditional youth provision is closed in hotspot areas when anti-social behaviour levels are high
- relevant settings for services e.g. community centres, sports centres, parks and schools / pupil referral units.
A forward looking social business, Catch22 has over 200 years’ experience of providing services that help people in tough situations to turn their lives around. Our programmes help those we work with to steer clear of crime or substance misuse, do the best they can in school or college and develop skills for work, live independently on leaving care or custody, gain new skills and confidence as parents, and play a full part in their community. Our goal is to deliver social benefit by turning chaotic lives around.
Staff involved in the service
- Service Manager, Young People and Families: Glen Winterbourne
- Suffolk Positive Futures Manager: Paul Knight
- Suffolk Positive Futures Coordinator: Mike Chaplin
- Sessional sports coaches x15
The above staff members are qualified and experienced Catch22 Practitioners in delivering and leading community sport projects. The key to the service is sessional sports coaches who bring a range of skills, experiences and knowledge to provide a service to meet service users’ needs and support them in achieving their full potential. All Catch22 staff receive regular supervision, with ongoing training / development relevant to their role.
All Catch22 staff attend Safeguarding Training with 2 yearly refreshers as standard, sharing any concerns in line with Suffolk Safeguarding Partnership and Catch22 procedures as required. We work alongside our partners in their efforts to safeguard young people and inform them of any concerns or referrals made as appropriate.
Outcomes of service
- Young People in local communities making positive decisions
- Reduction in ASB levels
- Exit routes into other provision / volunteering /employment opportunities
- Young People integrating with their local community
- Social return on investment
For the period April 2021 to March 2022 the project was able to demonstrate that through partnership working and the submission of successful funding bids, for every £1 invested from the Suffolk Police & Crime Commissioner, £0.89p of additional funding has been secured by the project, ensuring the impact of the PCC’s investment goes further and is felt wider across the county.
The project ensures that the funding received from the Suffolk PCC goes further and that value for money is evidenced. The PCC funding is used to underpin the programme, which then opens up wider opportunities to access community grants and trusts where funding can be specifically focused on delivery, providing a greater likelihood of bid success. This is used to levy in additional funding both locally and nationally in order to deliver more activity, work with more young people and ultimately have a bigger impact in local communities and the county as a whole.
In the past 12 months the project has secured funding from 14 organisations both locally and nationally who trust the project, have invested in it, know that it achieves results and has such an impact on young people. Many of whom have been repeat funders:
- Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner: 50%
- Local Authorities (including SCC, IBC, East Suffolk and West Suffolk): 30%
- National sports charities (Streetgames and Sport England): 9%
- Foundations, trusts and grants including Suffolk Community Foundation: 5%
- Miscellaneous (including schools, county sports partnerships, voluntary sector, and sports clubs): 6%
Where we operate
At the end of March 2022 the project had the following activities running in communities across Suffolk:
- Haverhill Football project – Project runs on a Friday evening in the centre of Haverhill. Project offers turn up and play football opportunities. Currently supported by Haverhill Town Council and Community Action Suffolk.
- Newmarket, Mildenhall & Brandon Boxing project – Project provides a weekly programme of boxing for young people in the west of the county (3 sessions). Session based on technique and improving fitness. Supported by Attleborough Boxing Club, Abbeycroft Leisure, Active Suffolk and various county councillors.
- Chantry Street Cricket – Project runs in partnership with ‘chance to shine’ charity and Streetgames. Runs on a Wednesday evening in Ipswich incorporating a fast-paced version of cricket. Targeting the chantry/sprites ward of the town.
- Whitton Football project – Project runs on a Wednesday evening targeting the Whitton ward of Ipswich. Project offers young people casual football opportunities and is supported by Suffolk County councils ‘most active county’ initiative.
- Gainsborough / Nacton Boxing Project – Project runs on a Wednesday evening offering boxing opportunities to young people of South East Ipswich. Project is based at Murrayside Community Centre and offers a safe place for young people to go and learn some new skills and improve fitness
- Maple Park (Formally Jubilee Park) – Open access sports session running on a Thursday evening for the local community. Supported by The Suffolk Community Foundation, Ipswich Borough Council and Suffolk County Council
- Northgate High School Boxing Project – New monthly boxing project with the school, targeting those at risk of exclusion.
- Leiston Football project – Project runs on a Friday evening in Leiston, offering young people a vital service to come in and burn off some energies in a safe environment.
- Leiston Boxing project – Project runs on a Thursday evening in partnership with Active Suffolk and Ultimate Boxing, offering boxing opportunities to young people in Leiston.
- Kirkley & Pakefield Football project – Running in partnership with Active Suffolk, various councillors and Suffolk Youth Justice Service, the project targets young people living in Whitton, Kirkley and Pakefield areas of Lowestoft.
- Harbour Football project – Lowestoft – Running on a Wednesday evening the project provides opportunities for young people living in north Lowestoft opportunity to engage with the project.
- Whitton Street Cricket – Project runs in partnership with ‘chance to shine’ charity and Streetgames. Runs on a Friday evening in Lowestoft incorporating a fast paced version of cricket. Targeting the Whitton and Kirkley wards of Lowestoft.
Babergh & Mid Suffolk
- Hadleigh Boxing project – A weekly programme of free boxing and fitness. Ran at Hadleigh Leisure Centre and supported by Abbeycroft Leisure, Hadleigh Town Council and The Suffolk Community Foundation.
- School holiday projects including Fit and Fed & Jumpers for Goalposts – Project in partnership with Suffolk County Council, Ipswich Borough Council & East Suffolk Council.
- Sports Leaders Qualification – Offered by the Project. Most recently 12 young people have completed the course in 2022 and have started volunteering with Waveney FC, Lowestoft Swimming Club and Suffolk Positive Futures.
Since 1st April 2021 the project has worked with 1187 individual young people, provided 1167 hours of activities and received 11,782 attendees to the project. We received 237 direct referrals from schools and partner agencies with many more being signposted to the project by police teams and youth services.
From April 2021 to March 2022:
- Project worked with 1,187 individual young people
- Project received 11,782 attendances
- 671 activity sessions were delivered
- Over 1,100 hours of sporting activity were provided
- 20 young people not in education worked towards a recognised qualification with the project
- 201 questionnaires completed securing project impact from young person perspective
- 15 young people took up volunteering placements, predominantly in an informal volunteer role, supporting the coaches with session delivery and young person engagement
Demographic information including age, gender and ethnicity of service user, along with referral type, can be found in the full report downloadable below.
The map in the full report was taken from Public Health Suffolk’s indices of multiple deprivation and shows levels of deprivation across Suffolk, with the darker colours indicating high levels of deprivation. Deprivation includes a range of measures comprising levels of income, crime, health and living environment amongst others.
We have marked on the map the areas where we operate and also the numbers of young people we worked with from those areas in the past 12 months. The map shows a direct correlation between our project locations, the most deprived and next most deprived areas in Suffolk, indicating that we are delivering in the ‘right’ areas in Suffolk.
The map has two significant areas of extremely high deprivation in Ipswich and Lowestoft which both feature in the top 20% nationally. This corresponds to our two main areas of delivery, where in the past 12 months we worked with 413 young people in Ipswich and 377 young people in Lowestoft and surrounding area.
Maple Park Project, Ipswich
The Maple Park project (formally known as Jubilee park) is an area which often features high on the agenda of local agencies as an area in need of extra support and investment, especially for its young people. The area itself is a highly populated estate in Ipswich with many of the residents being from a Romanian heritage.
When we arrive at Maple Park the young people spill out from all areas. It feels like the whole community turns out to try and take part. We have 5 year olds and 17 year olds all try to get involved. Its fantastic being so warmly received however it does present its problems with ensuring the session remains safe with everyone getting access to the session. Numbers some weeks do get particularly high and project staff do have to be 100% focused on just keeping a tight management of the session.
The project is run in partnership between a range of organisations and offers young people the opportunity to turn up and take part in free organised sports sessions. The sessions run every Thursday between 4.30pm-6pm on the hardcourt area at Maple Park. Session activities usually consist of football and basketball. Support for the project has been provided from the Suffolk Community Foundation and both Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Borough Council.
Paul Knight from Catch 22 Suffolk Positive Futures commented:
“The project has started really well with good numbers of young people turning up and getting involved. The Maple Park area is a location we have visited many times previously over school holidays and we’re pleased to now be here on a weekly basis offering worthwhile sporting opportunities to local young people. As always, we are grateful of the support from local partners and also the Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner who supports the wider project across the county.”
Councillor Matthew Hicks, Leader of Suffolk County Council, said:
“We are delighted to be working alongside Catch22 Suffolk Positive Futures and partners to establish another doorstep sport session in Ipswich. By establishing free sporting opportunities like these in the heart of local communities it helps to bypass many of the traditional barriers that young people face in accessing sport and, in doing so, provides positive benefits both for the individual and the wider community. During the coronavirus pandemic young people’s levels of activity have significantly fallen so this new opportunity is really positive.”
Councillor Bryony Rudkin, Ipswich Borough Council’s Sport and Leisure Portfolio Holder, said:
“We are delighted to be supporting this initiative and working with Catch22 Suffolk Positive Futures and other partners to help young people in the Maple Park area get active. It has never been more important for children and young people to engage in positive and healthy activities like this, so it is great to see how popular it has been so far and how much they are enjoying it.”
Newmarket Boxing Project
In March 2020 we launched three new West Suffolk boxing projects in Newmarket, Brandon and Mildenhall following consultation with young people in the area. All three locations had been highlighted as areas in need of extra resources to keep young people engaged. The projects are delivered in partnership with Active Suffolk, Attleborough Boxing Club & Abbeycroft Leisure and have received further funding support from a number of county councillors.
We initially offered taster sessions in the local High Schools and all 3 projects started very well with over 50 young people attending over the 3 locations. Unfortunately this momentum was cut short due to lockdown after only 2 weeks and we moved all of our Boxing delivery online. It was very encouraging to see young people from these sessions stay engaged and active with the project though via our zoom delivery after only just starting to attend these sessions.
The Newmarket boxing session in particular has seen consistent numbers since its inception and manages to create an atmosphere where both 12 year olds and 18 year olds can all participant in the same session. Young people have been referred to theses sessions by Suffolk Youth Justice Service and Newmarket Open Door project which supports vulnerable or homeless young people as well as on an open access basis. Due to the projects consistent numbers we have recently had a visit from the Newmarket Journal who ran a small piece on the session and the Positive Futures project in general.
Alternative education work with Northgate High School
An interesting development for the project occurred in May 2021 where we were approached by Northgate High School after a radio interview was heard by one of the students. The interview was on national radio station – TalkSport, where they were interviewing professional Boxer Fabio Wardley.
Fabio had recently won the British heavyweight title and the radio station were interviewing him about his past and how he came into boxing. It just so happens that Fabio is an Ipswich lad and more importantly is a former attendee of our Suffolk Positive Futures project. Within the interview Fabio talks about his growing up and how he had energies that needed burning off in more constructive ways and some cheekiness that needed controlling. He speaks really well about how the project gave him this opportunity and diverted him away from activities that weren’t productive. He also recalls the moment he met his boxing coach Rob Hodgins which again was through the Positive Futures session he was attending. Fabio goes on to talk about how boxing gave him discipline and focus, improved fitness and a goal in life.
It was these words which resonated with the student at Northgate High School, so he shared the interview with his teachers. They too were very impressed with what they heard and so made contact with the project to find out more and to see if we could have the same affect on their students. A couple of taster sessions followed in June/July 2021 which has now been followed up by a permanent monthly session focusing on their students who need a little extra focus. Some of the students are struggling with behaviour difficulties and its those we’re looking to target. Session is being used for the health/fitness, discipline benefits but also to act as an incentive to stay in school and engage better in lessons knowing they have this opportunity at the end of each month.
“We have been working with the Suffolk Positive Futures since July 2021 on providing trips for a select group of our students. These trips to Suffolk Punch Gym have allowed our students to build their communication skills, improve their engagement in education, enhance their self-esteem and develop their physical skills in a controlled adult environment. As a school we have been very pleased with the way these events have enhanced our personal development curriculum and we look forward to working together closely in the future. These are hugely valuable and our students are having a fantastic experience from these events. It is making a significant difference to their lives and their approach to education.”
– Steve Day, Assistant Head teacher at Northgate High School
Feedback from service users
We ask for feedback on the service wherever it’s appropriate to do so. We ran three surveys over the past twelve months: a COVID-19 specific survey, a Fit and Project survey, and our standard Catch22 service user survey with a sample size of 100. From these surveys:
- 100% of respondents said they would recommend Suffolk Positive Futures to others.
- 92% of those who felt it relevant to them, felt their mental health had improved as a result of their attendance at Suffolk Positive Futures.
- 100% of young people felt their physical health had improved as a result of regularly attending the project.
- 90% of young people felt safer in the neighbourhoods as a result of Suffolk Positive Futures.
- 96% of those who felt it relevant to them, felt more able to enjoy life after their attendance to the project.
- 100% of respondents said they would recommend Catch22 to others.
When asked what else they have gained from attending the project, young people told us:
- 75% improved confidence
- 96% improved fitness levels
- 35% no longer hanging around on the street
- 38% now take pride in their local area
- 67% made new friends
- 40% said they were no longer getting in trouble
- 59% said they liked being part of a team
- 82% said they now had access to role models
Feedback from partner agencies / partnerships
We work alongside a number of partner agencies who see the work we do and the impact the project have. Below is just a selection of their experience of the service:
“Working with multiple partners and agencies, Catch22 Suffolk Positive Futures provides a safe and encouraging environment for young people who are often looking for positive role models in their lives. As Chair of the Positive Futures Steering Group, I see first-hand the exceptional work that the team does in delivering innovative and engaging activities that have a real and long term impact on the young people they work with. Partnership working is key to the sustainability of the programme and I would encourage any organisation, that would like to make a difference to the lives of young people in Suffolk, to get in touch to discuss how they can become involved.”
– Colin Grogan, Chairman, Suffolk Positive Futures Steering Group
“Suffolk Positive Futures provide a number of projects we are able to signpost and refer young people to. The projects not only provide structured activity but are delivered by positive role models who talk to young people openly about their choices and attitudes. We look forward to being able to continue signposting young people to these sessions this year.”
– Scott Reynolds, Operational Manager, Suffolk Youth Justice Service
“We have worked with Suffolk Positive Futures for many years, on implementing national initiatives such as Doorstep Sport Clubs, Fit & Fed and Club One in Suffolk. The Doorstep Sport provision alone has engaged approximately 2,500 young people and generated almost 20,000 attendances at physical activity sessions. We consider Positive Futures to be a vital deliver of activities to young people in Suffolk and consider them to be a trusted partner. We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with them on this very important area of work in the future.”
– Adam Baker, Strategic Lead for Physical Activity, Public Health Suffolk, Suffolk County Council
“We visited the new boxing/fitness project at Hadleigh Leisure Centre, where we watched the young people go through a tough workout with smiles all over their faces under the professional and supportive care of Paul, Phill and George. This is only one example of what Suffolk Positive Futures does all over Suffolk, engaging young people in physical exercise and teamwork, with the ability to get people to join in and be enthusiastic from the moment the classes start, whatever the sporting activity. It’s a great example of partnership in action.”
– Edward Creasy, High Sheriff of Suffolk
Catch22, Positive Futures have continued to be a great partner for us, delivering the Jumpers for Goalposts programme and the Maple Park activities and achieving some great outcomes. Their engagement with the young people in the town has been brilliant and their ability to support other initiatives such as our Sports Leaders programme has allowed us to access even more young people and offer them positive activities. Their support and interventions are highly valued and we look forward to the future working with them.”
– Andrew Wilesmith, Ipswich Borough Council, Operations Manager – Sport & Leisure
“I have worked with Catch22 Positive Futures for 3 years and I cannot speak highly enough of the outstanding work that Paul and his team are able to put on for some of the most vulnerable young people in some of the more demanding areas of the county. I am lucky enough to see this first hand, every young person is given the opportunity to build on existing skill and learn new ones too both physically and personally, pushing them out of there comfort zone to help them grow into outstanding members of the community, this is done by staff who get to know every young person and are there to offer them guidance and support on every aspect of their lives. If as a team we have a young person who we believe would see the benefits of Catch 22 Positive Futures, we are able to introduce the young person who will be welcomed with open arms no matter what challenges they may have with no prejudice shown. They actively work with the SNTs, School Liaison Team, Youth Engagement Team and Youth Justice Service adding a valuable resource to Suffolk Constabulary.”
– PCSO 3343 Craig Gibbs, Neighbourhood Partnership Team / School Liaison Officer