A weekly sports session designed to harness the power of sport to create positive changes in the lives of disadvantaged young people in the Peterlee area has won a national award.
Peterlee Street Games took home the Outstanding Community Contribution award at the national Street Games Awards in Coventry earlier this week.
The scheme was launched with the aim of reducing anti-social behaviour and deliberate fire setting in the town by getting young people off the streets and engaging in sport.
The sessions, which take place every Tuesday in the lower ground car park of Asda, in Castle Dene Shopping Centre, are run in collaboration with Durham Constabulary, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service and Groundwork NE and Cumbria.
Since its launch in February, the project has been a huge success, with around 60 young people aged between 10 and 16 attending the sessions every week.
PCSO Michelle Burr, from Peterlee Neighbourhood Police Team, said: “We are really proud to be given this award. We launched Peterlee Street Games to give young people something constructive to do and get them off the streets.
“The sessions take place in an area which is well known for anti-social behaviour so it is great to be able to turn a negative into a positive. The partners would like to thank McDonald’s and Asda for providing refreshments and Castle Dene Shopping Centre for the use of the car park to host the activities.”
Peterlee Street Games is funded by Peterlee Town Council, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, East Durham AAP, the office of the Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner for County Durham and Darlington, Ron Hogg, Street Games and Believe Housing Group.
Performance lead Joanne Holloway, from Groundwork NE and Cumbria, said: “We at Groundwork NE and Cumbria are absolutely delighted to be in receipt of this award. We deliver a lot of youth provision in the area and to see this make such a difference to the young people we work with is inspiring and a credit to all the partners that have been involved."
Councillor Terry Duffy, Peterlee Town Mayor, added: “Peterlee Town Council is proud to be working with our partners in the town to provide a range of services and activities for our young people.
“This award is a great achievement for everyone concerned, including the many young people who have been coming to the sessions and having fun with their friends in such a positive and inspiring way.”
District manager Phil Innis, from Peterlee Fire Station, said: “To receive this award is absolutely fantastic for the young people who have made the initiative a success, everyone who runs the event and all those who have supported and funded this brilliant initiative. Above all, it is fantastic for Peterlee.”