Football has a positive impact in Berwick

19 Dec 2016 11:22 AM

Pictured, Staff and youngsters at the training session with PCSO Stalker. [View Full Size]

A local football initiative is having a positive impact on young lives in Berwick.

Neighbourhood officers in the town recently visited a local football training session hosted by Newcastle United Football Foundation in partnership with Four Housing.

The weekly sessions take place at the Swan Centre for leisure in Berwick Upon Tweed.

Police Community Support Officer Russell Stalker, from Berwick Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “If any evidence was needed of how sport can bring kids together and make a positive impact on their lives and our community, then these sessions are it.

"This programme gives us the opportunity to come along and meet these youngsters in a positive environment, it helps to break down any potential barriers as sport is a great leveller.

"The sessions also take the kids away from hanging around the streets and helps to reduce anti-social behaviour, which is a positive outcome for the whole community."

The sessions will be back up and running in the New Year every Friday from January 6, running from 6pm-8pm, and are free for anyone aged 12-19 years with coaches David Brown, Matty Moore and Reegan Graham.

NUFC Project Co-ordinator Laura Wilson said: “It’s great that local police have been attending the sessions. The aim is to engage young people in constructive activities, increase playing and coaching opportunities, break down barriers between the police and young people and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.”

Gillian Buchan, customer engagement officer at Four Housing, part of the Bernicia Group, said: “The success of the Kicks Programme nationally has been phenomenal and we are delighted to have been able to support the project in Berwick through our Community Development Fund, which was set up to support local projects within this area. Participation in the programme from both boys and girls has been high and a significant number of young people have been engaged further by turning their hand to coaching. We look forward to working with the Foundation and partner agencies to build upon this success in the new year.”

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Pictured, Staff and youngsters at the training session with PCSO Stalker.