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BALL KICKS INTO COUNTY DURHAM

Sunderland AFC Legend Kevin Ball visited teenagers in County Durham to help launch a Friday night youth project.

Premier League Kicks, run by the Foundation of Light, will be delivered at North Durham Academy in Stanley, which will see youngsters and teenagers aged 8-19 take part in a variety of activities and workshops.

Sessions delivered in the school have received funding from Stanley Community Fund and will run every Friday with two separate sessions for different age groups, in a bid to offer young people a positive way to spend their free time.

The Foundation of Light have been delivering Premier League Kicks in the community for over 10 years helping young people in hard to reach areas through the power of sport.

Kevin Ball said: “Having somewhere to go on a night for me was brilliant: I can still picture the youth club up the road where I used to live, and they would give us a variety of activities to do.

The Kicks programme is going to be so important to the young people of Stanley because it’ll give them an opportunity. It’s up to them to embrace it and we hope they’ll come off the streets, come and meet us, come and say hello. Personally, I think it’s a fantastic programme for the young people of Stanley and the surrounding areas

In 2019, youth-related incidents across Stanley fell by 11% an improvement that Durham police attribute to tougher enforcement action and better diversion schemes.

Michelle Cooper, Chief Executive for County Durham Community Foundation, added: “We’re really delighted to see Stanley Kicks become a reality in bringing better health and well-being to young people in our community. The Stanley Community Fund is giving us the progress we so urgently need to see – putting money to good use by giving it to local people who understand what makes a difference.

“The project is funded for two years and that’s two years when young people in Stanley have something constructive to do on Friday nights. We all know what it’s like to be bored and have no opportunity – it causes trouble – so we’re keen to offer these young people something of value that can shape their lives for the better.”

Additional information

The Stanley Community Fund was put together by County Durham Community Foundation, Stanley Town Council, Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner, Stanley Area Action Partnership and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and has already given out almost £60,000 in grants to 16 local groups. Grants from the fund can be larger amounts and for longer time spans, to make sure projects can really make an impact.

Stanley Kicks is a project that has received funding for two years as part of the Stanley Community Fund project.

The free sessions run every Friday, 4.30-6pm for 8-12-year olds and 6.30-8pm for 13-19-year olds. No booking required. For further information contact dave.jeffries@foundationoflight.co.uk

Written By Kay James

31 January 2020

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