StreetChance partners’ response to the UK riots

The partners of StreetChance, Chance to Shine, Barclays Spaces for Sports, Cricket for Change, Metropolitan Police Service and Positive Futures are committed to using cricket to engage young people in areas affected by youth crime and anti-social behaviour.

In a joint statement, the partners describe how the riots in UK have deepened their resolve to use sport as a positive force: Like most people in Britain, we were shocked and saddened by the ugly scenes in London and other UK cities earlier this month. We have spent the past three years working with young people in the most deprived areas of London; near many of the trouble hot-spots.

Week in, week out throughout the year our coaches meet, connect with and listen to hundreds of young people during StreetChance community sessions across London. The results have been encouraging. In a recent survey, 69% of community participants say StreetChance has helped make them act more responsibly, while 60% of participants say StreetChance has helped them avoid getting involved with local gangs. The majority of young people we speak to are equally shocked and disgusted by the acts of a minority of their peers.

The outreach hour at the end of each community session has successfully encouraged young people to open up and discuss with coaches the issues that concern them. Similarly, the ‘Peace at the Crease’ events where police officers from local Safer Neighbourhood Teams play alongside young people have really helped to build bridges: 89% of police officers involved say StreetChance has helped increase their rapport with young people. Not only does it give police officers an opportunity to discuss issues like stop and search, drug and alcohol abuse, gangs, knife and gun crime; it also makes them more approachable to children when they are back on the estate.

StreetChance is making a real difference, both to young people and to communities in London. As we prepare to take the programme to a further six cities, we are determined to use the foundation we’ve built over the past three years across the UK, first, to help understand the reasons behind the riots and then to help make sure they never happen again.

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