The Twilight Sports Pilot Project:
This year is rapidly coming to a conclusion so I thought I would highlight two community safety projects which will be delivered in early 2022. Some of the details are still to be confirmed but I felt it was important to look ahead positively and provide people with a heads up about a couple of Projects which will provide new opportunities for local young people and further engagement for the entire community with local services and organisations.
The Twilight Sports Pilot Project is scheduled to start in late February 2022 and will run for 16 weeks at four different locations throughout Camelon and Tamfourhill. I am grateful to the Camelon Community Sports Hub for providing the grant funding to support this initial pilot programme. The idea is to provide sporting and wellbeing activities on Friday evenings at times when young people might be vulnerable to risk taking or being drawn into anti-social behaviour or other community safety concerns. As I have highlighted in recent blogs, I spent some time over the summer months engaging with young people in the community, at local parks on the streets or at Lock 16, in fact anywhere they were meeting up. I carried out a detailed youth survey and I also spoke in some detail with them about their experiences of community safety and listened to some of their aspirations for improving the community. Here is an extract from one of the streetwork session recordings: We had a lengthy and detailed chat with a younger group at the stairs down from the Mariner Street shops, they wanted to take part in organised activities, and this included: football, bikes and their repairs, there are safety issues at the Scrammy which was mainly about bullying , broken glass and fires/fireworks spoiling their enjoyment of den building and playing about the hill, they also said they are pushed of the MUGA by the bigger ones. We suggested there could in the future be organised football session involving adults and coaching and this suggestion was well received and would be taken up by this particular group (Streetwork recording 1st September 2021) It seems fairly clear then that young people would enjoy and benefit from having structured and supervised activities at key locations where they already meet up within the community. The twilight session will involve quality sports coaching and participation, an outdoor learning input from our colleagues at TCV and each week there will be a community safety partner taking part, including: The Police, Fire Service, Youth Information services and my own community safety workshop inputs. At this stage I am not able to give exact details, but I would hope that the sports will include Rugby, Basketball, football, and wheel sports and along with the Outdoor learning activities and the community safety inputs this should be an excellent new opportunity for the young people in the community. There will be volunteering opportunities and training can be made available to support local people gain coaching certificates in all of the sports that are to be delivered, so if you have an interest in any sport please get in touch as I would really like to involve you with this Pilot project. My Streetwork engagement and survey work has also indicated that young people do not have access to reliable information, advice, or support around a whole raft of community safety issues. I will therefore be making sure that there is plenty of youth information and advice resources available at each of the twilight sessions and I have a couple of young volunteers who will be helping with that aspect of the programme. As always, I will be looking for opportunities to involve young people with the programme as a learning or volunteering experience and where appropriate I will ensure that they are able to use their involvement to gain accreditation and volunteering certificates like their Saltire Awards.
Safer Streets Roadshow:
After the very wet trial of the safer street’s roadshow back in October the Partner groups and agencies will be returning for a regular weekly roadshow through April into May 2022. This will involve various Falkirk Council services, local voluntary organisations, community groups and other statutory agencies like the Police and fire service all coming to different locations throughout the community. This provides local people with a one stop shop to ask questions, bring concerns or problems, or suggest new ideas and community initiatives to all of the main local agencies and services in the one place at the one time. Some people may remember the Street a Week initiative that operated locally in 2019 and this approach is similar in taking agencies out to the community, but the other feature is to try and encourage new community activities in a positive and constructive way. Where there is a gap in community safety services or local opportunities, I would really like to see people come forward and start having that discussion with all the agencies and groups relevant to the local area. For example, from the Pilot roadshow back in October we have had a request from a few local people to start a Neighbourhood watch and people have also expressed an interest in seeing a local community council established.
I will return to both of these community safety project nearer the time of their implementation, and there will be significant publicity to promote them, in both the local press, through flyers and posters and on social media platforms. If you would like more information or are keen to get involved I would be very happy to hear from you at any point from now!