Youth Resilience programme hits the spot for vulnerable young people in Leeds

As the half-term holidays commence, Leeds Rhinos Foundation is celebrating another successful block of delivery for it’s Youth Endowment Fund COVID-19 Resilience programmes which engage at-risk young people in a combination of educational classroom sessions, mentoring and physical activities to improve their wellbeing and prevent youth crime in our community.

The targeted intervention scheme, launched with funding granted by the Youth Endowment Fund, aims to prevent vulnerable young people from becoming involved in potentially dangerous or criminal situations and is currently being delivered to Year 7, 8 and 9 pupils at five high schools across the city- Bishop Young Academy, Roundhay High, Co-op Academy, Leeds East Academy and Carr Manor Community School.

Research gathered by Alliance of Sport reveals that one in five young people reports being involved in crime and antisocial behaviour, and there are around 75,000 new entrants into the youth justice system every year. However, sports projects are one way of tackling this problem. Everyone can benefit from playing sport, but it can have a particularly significant impact on young people who find it difficult to engage and relate in other ways.

Recent sessions have seen pupils exploring the world of youth crime, by identifying what criminal activity is and how the costs and consequences of this behaviour significantly outweigh the benefits. In addition, the participants were challenged to conduct their own research into anti-social behaviour and youth crime in order to create their own poster campaign which will influence other youngsters and their peers to make more positive life decisions.

Outside of the classroom the pupils have also been enjoying their time taking part in physical activities, which provides the opportunities, experience and pathways to help them develop key life skills and achieve their full potential. From kwik-cricket and football to brushing up on their boxing skills through a series of pad drills, the sessions have been incredibly well received and are hopefully a key vehicle in helping to steer some of these at-risk young people away from youth crime.

Speaking about how the programme has benefitted him, 11-year-old Lewis said: “It’s definitely had a positive impact on my communication skills and how I speak to people. I’ve learnt a lot about how actions can impact on other people and how to better manage my emotions.”

To find out more about the Youth Endowment Fund COVID-19 Resilience programme, please click HERE.