Our headline community project, Positive Futures, targets young people at risk of social exclusion and provides the structure they need to enrich their lives, develop their skills and improve their employment prospects.
Launched in Cotgrave in 2008, the project identifies a core group of young people deemed at risk of social exclusion and works with them and their families to plan a route to prosperity.
The scheme was kick-started by the award of a grant from the Football Foundation of £175,000 which contributed to an overall programme £323,000.
A summer programme of free-to-access activities for the young people of Cotgrave was attended by more than half of the town’s 11-19 year olds, heralding the start of a three-year commitment to improve prospects in the village.
It has proved to be a runaway success and has now been extended to engage young people from neighbouring villages Keyworth, Bingham, and Radcliffe on Trent.
The demise of Cotgrave’s mining heritage was a key factor in a downturn in prospects but a dramatic reduction in crime figures since the scheme’s inception has helped to restore positivity.
Year on year statistics revealed an 80 per cent reduction in burglary, criminal damage instances down by 76 per cent, theft diminished by 63 per cent and violent crime down by 66 per cent.
2013 also saw the launch of Positive Futures in Hawtonville, Newark, in partnership with Nottinghamshire County Council. The scheme offers one-to-one support for young people, as well as organizing activities and sports events in the local community.
The team in Hawtonville, led by Mandy Wright, offer individual support to 25 young people, and in partnership with local schools, have seen attainment, attendance and behavioural levels increase in the project’s short lifetime.