New youth project a safe haven for children

A project aimed at helping crack down on anti-social behaviour in the Cradley Heath area is providing young people with a safe space where they can enjoy sports and activities as well as hot and cold food, snacks and refreshments.

Haden Williams from the club with Jake Small, Taylor Aitchison and Scott Smith, all aged 11
Haden Williams from the club with Jake Small, Taylor Aitchison and Scott Smith, all aged 11

Sporting Your Futures is a community interest company which successfully ran a summer holiday activity programme for 90 young people in Bearmore Park.

It also ran another successful October half-term project at Cradley Heath Community Centre where a youth zone has now been created.

Wayne Clarke, aged 30, sports project lead, said: "We really want to raise awareness of the youth zone where young people, aged from eight to 18-years-old can find a safe space.

Brothers Emmanuel, 14, and Samuel Nnakwe, 11

"The youth zone runs on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at Cradley Heath Community Centre during term times and can cater for about 50 young people each day.

"It has only been open since November 11 but has already proved really popular, with young people being able to take part in sports such as table tennis, table football, snooker and air hockey.

"They can also enjoy playing on game stations."

Wayne added: "Following the success of the summer and October projects we wanted to offer even more activities for young people to enjoy in a fun and safe environment.

"This is a deprived area and it is possible that without somewhere to go such as the youth zone that some of these children might end up on the streets

"They might then be open to getting involved in anti-social or risky behaviour.

"Funding for the project has come from Sandwell Council and Sandwell Council Voluntary Organisation Vision 2030.

"We are currently delivering the youth zone on Thursday, Friday and Saturday."

Anyone interested in taking part can get in touch at wayne@sportingyourfutures.org

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