ASB project helps young people change their choices
Published by Bobbie H for City West Housing Trust in Housing
Jahred Render, 16, from Little Hulton sporting a S.O.P.H.I.E wristband
A housing association is aiming to reduce the impact of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) caused by young people with the launch of a project that encourages them to consider the consequences of their actions and make positive decisions about their future.
City West’s Change Your Choices initiative sees the landlord working with 10 to 16 year olds who are in danger of becoming involved in criminal and nuisance behaviour by providing a week-long course of hard-hitting and inspirational events designed to show the impact of ASB on their communities.
The scheme has already proved successful, with a pilot project in the Little Hulton area of west Salford last year followed by two more courses in Little Hulton and Swinton this summer. Since its launch the number of ASB incidents committed by young people in City West communities has fallen by around 10%.
Jahred Render, 16, from Little Hulton is just one of the young people to benefit from the Change Your Choices project – and is now determined to make the right life choices.
Jahred said: “I’ve learnt a lot during the week and it’s made me realise what could happen if I do things like throwing fireworks or drink and drive.
“I’ve realised that City West can help me and it’s good to know that I have that support behind me. The course has made me realise that I can do anything I put my mind to in the future.”
City West works with local schools, the council and its own Neighbourhood Officers to identify youngsters who would benefit from taking part in the Change Your Choices programme.
Sessions included a visit to a prison to discuss the realities of life behind bars with inmates, a trip to a homeless hostel, a day with staff at Agecroft Fire Station to understand the dangers of hoax calls and a session with a City West customer who described her own experience of ASB.
Sylvia Lancaster, mother of Sophie Lancaster, 20, who was murdered in Bacup in 2007 as a result of hate crime, also took time to talk to the young people about stamping out prejudice, hatred and intolerance.
Martyn Hague, Head of Communities and Neighbourhoods for City West Housing Trust, said: “The Change Your Choices course provides a valuable opportunity for young people to see first-hand the impact that negative behaviour could have on their future.
“The activities, while remaining engaging and educational, have a big impact on their outlook and help them see that the right choices can get them on the path to a more positive future - and that is exactly what we want to achieve from this project.”
For more information on the Change Your Choices course call City West Housing Trust on 0300 123 5522.
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