Game On England’s Football 5ives programme first started to take shape in Kendray when the local police force began to identify low level disturbances between young people and the 5ives community sports centre, and wanted to find a way to relieve the tension.
Barnsley Council’s Targeted Youth Support Team partnered with the centre to introduce a number of football activities ran by youth workers, but the longevity of the pilot was limited.
In June 2018, Game On England forged a partnerhsip with Barnsley Council’s Targeted Youth Support Team to support the session, along with some match funding from the Yorkshire Sport Foundation, by introducing an additional football pitch, as well as a team of qualified coaches, to increase the sustainability and capacity of the session.
Over 114 young people have attended since then to take part in weekly sessions, as well as exciting competitions and tournaments. One talented team got the chance to visit Scotland with Game On England to represent England’s coalfield communities at the 12th Coalfields Regeneration Trust Home Internationals Football Tournament.
This annual event brings young people from some of the UK’s most deprived coalfield communities together, with the hopes of raising aspirations and boosting confidence.
However, Game On England goes further than just football. The programme supports young people by giving them access to gain qualifications and offering training opportunities – recently the programme even funded one individual from this session to gain a Fa Level one coaching qualification.
The session also recently teamed up with Birdwell Greggs, through The Greggs Foundation Unsold Food Donation Scheme, to ensure that as well as being physically active that the young people are fed.
Police now report that the number of incidents relating to young people has reduced. Barnsley West NHP Police Officers even drop into sessions to take part and build valuable relationships with young people in the community.