News From All Corners
TTC scales new heights
Durham youngsters have been scaling new heights after securing a climbing award as part of a project designed to generate positive relationships between young people and the police.
Ten young people from Cockfield and Evenwood in Durham’s Gaunless Valley have gained an award from the National Indoor Climbing Achievement Scheme (NICAS), after being given the opportunity to try out the sport by Turning the Corner (TTC) and representatives from the local police.
The youngsters, aged 13 to 16, recently completed the award after getting involved with the scheme over a year ago, working alongside TTC youth worker Stephen Matthews; PC Dave Williamson, PCSO Paul Conroy and Simon Land from On the Edge Activities, who provided instruction for the scheme. During the project, which has encouraged teamwork, the young adventurers have learnt climbing skills, rope work as well as the health and safety aspects of the sport.
Stephen commented: “This project has provided a great opportunity for young people to achieve an award which ordinarily they would not had the chance to do. It has been a very positive experience to work with these young budding climbers and to see them develop throughout the programme.
“It’s brought together young people and police in an informal setting which has provided an opportunity for young people to get to know the human face behind the uniform. This is just one of a number of TTC projects operating in the area that is helping to dispel anti-social behaviour and alleviate negative perceptions of young people seen to be hanging around street corners.”
PC Paul Conroy, a PCSO who was at a recent celebration event at Sunderland Climbing Wall to mark the end of the programme, said: “Thanks to TTC and the other organisations who have helped make the project possible, we’ve been able to provide young people with an opportunity to gain an accreditation and to divert their attention from hanging around the streets with nowhere to go.
“The initiative has definitely improved communications and levels of respect between police and the young people involved.”
TTC is funded by the BIG Lottery Fund and is delivered by Groundwork North East. Its aim is to work with young people aged 10–18 years old in the North East and Yorkshire regions to challenge negative perceptions and attitudes between local businesses and young people seen to be ‘hanging around’ street corners, particularly areas with shops.
Kyle Pattison, a 14 year-old from Cockfield, who was involved in the project, said: “This was the first chance I’d had to try out climbing and I have enjoyed everything about it. I’d like to continue climbing and would eventually like to become an instructor.”
And, 14 year-old Daniel Jenkins, also from Cockfield, added: “It’s been something fun to do and a chance to learn something new.”
The project has also been supported by the Durham Agency Against Crime’s EDDY (Engage, Divert and Develop Young People) scheme.
For further information about TTC projects in Durham contact Stephen Matthews on 01388 662 666.
For further media information about Turning the Corner, please contact:
Tel: (0191) 516 6235
Mobile: 07946 781 134