25th October 2016
The Friday Night Project provides a range of attractive, targeted youth work activities to reduce anti-social behaviour and other risk taking behaviours in towns and rural locations across Allerdale.
Initially set up by Inspira, it has been successfully running in Allerdale for two years and has had an appreciable impact on anti-social behaviour rates across the borough. Cumbria Youth Alliance received a grant of £37,000 from Cumbria Community Foundation to continue running the successful programme for a further twelve months.
A number of partner agencies are involved in the project: Allerdale Sports Partnership, Allerdale Activities Club, Aspatria Dream Scheme, Wigton Youth Station, North Allerdale Development Trust, Flimby Youth Project, Maryport Boys and Girls Club, Soundwave and South Workington Youth Partnership.
Each agency offers different youth led events in venues on a Friday night. Young people aged between 11 and 19 come together to enjoy a wide range of activities such as team games, quiz nights, craft sessions and cookery workshops.
The number of young people at risk of being NEET (not in education, employment, or training) is higher in the project areas than the national average. The Friday Night Project gives young people access to positive activities and role models that will help them to engage with full time education and diverts them away from anti-social behaviour.
Cath Clarke, Chief Officer of Cumbria Youth Alliance, said: “All young people have potential, but those born into disadvantage face an uphill struggle from the start. Many fail at school and later, are unable to find or keep jobs and end up in a spiral of long term unemployment and benefit dependency.”
“Access to positive activities really assists with ensuring young people make a successful transition into adulthood. They become more engaged and we notice marked improvements in their behaviour. Many young people started on the programme as beneficiaries and have now moved into volunteering positions, helping more young people to benefit in the communities.”
“Local police have remarked to the clubs what a difference this project makes to young people who often have nowhere else to go. It has led to reduction in petty and persistent offending in some of the most disadvantaged communities in West Cumbria.”
Annalee Holliday, Grants & Donor Services Officer, said: “Youth organisations have made a huge difference to many young people’s lives across Allerdale and this project is an excellent way to encourage young people to get involved in positive activities on a Friday evening, while also benefiting the wider community by reducing rates of anti-social behaviour.”