New activities launched to prevent anti-social youth behaviour in Southampton following local donation

Young people living in and around Millbrook and Redbridge are set to benefit from new activities to help reduce the risk of them becoming involved in anti-social behaviour, thanks to a £3,000 donation from the Barker-Mill Foundation (BMF).

The activities are being provided by Youth Options, a registered charity which delivers services to children and young people in Hampshire and the surrounding area. Launched in December and held on a Friday night for young people aged 10-12 years, it aims to enable them to try out new challenges in a safe and secure environment. The funds donated by the BMF will enable them to cover the costs of this programme for the young people of Southampton.

Debbie Burns, Deputy Chief Executive from Youth Options, said: “We are very grateful to the Barker-Mill Foundation for its donation, which means we can now launch this initiative and begin making a difference to the lives of young people in the area.

“Friday nights are a time when young people tend to gather outdoors and if they are not engaged in positive activities they are more vulnerable to being drawn into anti-social behaviour and other risky activities.

“The aim of the programme is to enable young people to meet together in a safe and secure environment, make new friends, and participate in a range of activities and challenges.  The activities and challenges are designed to improve their confidence and self-esteem, and make them better able to deal with issues in their lives, and less likely to adopt negative behaviours. They will also have a better understanding of how they can be a positive member of their community and help improve their locality.”

Youth Options, established in 1937, supports young people from a wide range of situations, including young carers, those in care / care leavers, those at risk of exclusion from school or society, those already excluded from mainstream education and young people who are not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) or likely to be NEET on leaving school. It aims to support children and young people to realise their abilities and aspirations, and to make a valuable contribution to their communities.

Tim Jobling, BMF Trustee, said: “Anti-social behavior can have an extremely negative impact on a community and the individuals involved. By helping to remove them from potential situations, or even before they are tempted by them, we hope to be able to help our local young people by giving them the chance to do something meaningful and positive with their free time.”

The sessions will take place at the MP3 building in Millbrook on a Friday night, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm and have so far included:

  • An initial ‘Getting to Know You’ session
  • Road Code – looking at safe driving and how to be a safe passenger
  • A trip to the Panto at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton
  • Putting together a New Year’s time capsule to help learn about each other
  • Healthy eating
  • Team games evening
  • Healthy relationships
  • Mini Olympics

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