Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Youth schemes make a ‘splash’ in Newtownards

Councillor David Smyth

Over 500 young people in Ards will be taking part in this year’s ‘Summer Splash’ schemes, designed to help prevent them from getting involved in anti-social activities over the summer holidays.

A total of £10,785 has been provided by the Ards Community Safety Partnership to fund eight projects in the area, with everything from late night football and a range of sporting activities to music-making and film production on offer.

Commenting on the Ards scheme, Criminal Justice Minister, Paul Goggins, said: “Whilst the vast majority of our young people are a credit to their communities, the Splash programme is to reduce the potential for offending by engaging young people in constructive and relevant activities whilst giving something back for the benefit of their own community.”

Chairman of the local Community Safety Partnership, Councillor David Smyth, welcomed the on-going funding from government to provide the scheme throughout 2009 and which has garnered widespread community support.

“Last summer, this initiative meant more of our young people had fewer reasons to be bored and so fewer excuses to engage in the type of behaviour, whether ‘petty’ or not, which can so often blight local communities,” said Councillor Smyth.

“Everyone wins — the young people themselves who benefit from a range of activities over the summer months, and their local communities.”

Organisations which have received funding for local schemes are:

The Link Family and Community Centre, which will be working with young people to make a documentary about anti-social behaviour and how it impacts on local communities. The resulting DVD will be shared with other groups;

Glen Ward Community Development Association, which will be running a summer scheme to include a range of sports, including football, netball and canoeing, and which will finish with a residential;

Ards Anti-Social Behaviour Team, in partnership with the PSNI, Donaghadee Rugby Football Club and Ulster Rugby, will be repeating its rugby coaching sessions in Donaghadee;

West Winds Residents’ Association is to organise a series of excursions and sports-related activities from 10-pin bowling to netball;

Ballywalter Youth Club will be encouraging its youngsters to become involved in canoeing, hill-climbing and a range of other indoor and outdoor activities;

Ards Youth Academy will be providing football training for young people throughout the Ards Borough;

Comber Youth for Christ will be running late night football sessions and other activities for non-footballers;

The Warehouse is to stage various outdoor and indoor activities, finishing with a music event organised and hosted by the young people.

Anyone who would like further information about the Summer Splash programme should contact Bob Wilson on 9182 4047.

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