Serious youth violence changes the lives of people and families across the country. That is why, earlier this year, the Prime Minister hosted a Serious Youth Violence Summit to make clear that tackling the recent increases in serious violence was a top priority for the Government, and to commit to a truly cross-system, multi-agency (or ‘public health’) approach, involving all parts of Government and a wide range of public bodies working closely with community and faith leaders, and the voluntary and charitable sectors.
Earlier this week, Basketball England CEO Stewart Kellett attended 10 Downing Street to participate in a national working group focussed on the role that sport can play in reducing the vulnerability of young people and diverting and/or preventing them from city areas engaging in crime and anti-social behaviour.
Basketball England CEO Stewart Kellett said;
“Basketball England has been an active participant in this project to date, representing its members in discussions about the role of our clubs in inner cities where basketball coaches and volunteers do so much to support young people from a variety of backgrounds.
Basketball England have spoken to clubs that are engaged in challenging communities to find out how they provide a safe environments and encouragement to young people to make better choices by engaging them through something they love, basketball. Many clubs have been doing a great job in supporting vulnerable people many years and it’s really positive to see recognition coming through from the government.
Basketball England is delighted that the government sees a role for clubs in the community and will continue to work with DCMS, the Home Office and Sport England to be part of creating more support at a local level.”
At the Positive Activities for Young People reception Theresa May spoke about the issues concerning everyone about knife crime and how the government are committed to supporting people working on the frontline with young vulnerable people. Click HERE for the speech.
From a Basketball club perspective, Basketball England has been advocating for basketball clubs to be supported so they can play their part in helping young people with positive experiences both on and off the court with our local coaches and volunteers. Basketball matters to these young people and it’s the support from the clubs that gives them the aspiration and life skills to engage in thecommunity and not be drawn into the environments that are unsafe.
Basketball England has signposted a number of clubs in London, Birmingham and Manchester that operate in area of high level of youth crime to see what can be done to assist in the short term. We will continue to influence funders to support local clubs in this vital work in the community and we will be notifying our members about any training, support or resources that are available as the Home Office, DCMS and Sport England consider a national framework to support this work. A Youth Endowment fund has been referred to in the government speech and any opportunities arising from this will be communicated.
We are also going to set up a section on our web site dedicated to this dimension of the game where you can share your stories and ideas and we can share good practice and any future resourcing opportunities.