£70k boost for bid to cut youth crime

A £70,000 grant has been handed out to try to steer youngsters in Ashington away from a life of crime.

The grant, from the Northern Rock Foundation, will be spent by the national crime prevention programme Positive Futures and Ashington YMCA on tackling alcohol-related anti-social behaviour.

It comes just weeks after the SITA Trust gave Positive Futures £10,000 for a volunteering project to transform a disused area of Ashington YMCA’s grounds into an urban graffiti garden with help from students at Newcastle College.

The garden project is part of a summer programme being run by Northumberland’s youth offending service, Positive Futures and the YMCA.

The programme – part of the National Citizen Service’s Catch22 initiative – will also offer 16-year-olds in Ashington and Bedlington the chance to take part in sport, drama, outdoor education and environmental projects.

Positive Futures manager Paul Kirkpatrick, pictured, said: “This is a great opportunity for young people to show the valuable contribution they can make in their community.

“It’s an exciting, challenging and safe way for them to spend some of their summer.

“Another important aspect is that it could develop the qualities valued by employers and educational institutions.”

Northumberland’s Catch22 programme is one of 12 pilot projects being run nationwide between now and September.

For more information or to get involved, call Paul on (01670) 852225.