Football scheme gets the thumbs up from teens

Some of those who participated in the Youth Initiatives football sessions organised by the PCSP.
Some of those who participated in the Youth Initiatives football sessions organised by the PCSP.

Banbridge Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) have teamed up with Youth Initiatives to launch their autumn football programme called ‘SHOOTS’.

The PCSP’s vice-chairman has said that the scheme is a great way to engage young people.

“Banbridge PCSP is keen to work with local partners to help with the effective delivery of our action plan which aims to make the Banbridge District safer and to ensure that the voices of local people are heard on policing and community safety issues,” said Jonathan Murphy.

Trevor McDaid, Youth Initiatives Co-ordinator, added, “It is always great to have support for our programmes from other agencies such as the PCSP.

“SHOOTS stands for Stop Hanging Out On The Streets. The programme began through Outreach sessions and engaging with young people at Huntly pitch through our streetwork.

“The group of lads I engaged with expressed a need for something to do that was positive and gave them an alternative to hanging out on the streets.

“The project runs every Wednesday from 5-6pm at Cheney Park and is for males aged 15 and over. I am keen in the future to run a junior programme for 11+ and potentially a girls programme.

He continued, “As Project Co-ordinator for Youth Initiatives I am aware the need for alternative activity programmes that are not centre based is growing, so I am very grateful to the PCSP for their support, as programmes like SHOOTS can help address anti-social behaviour in the community by connecting the young males to a positive relational environment where they can express themselves through football.”