Violence Reduction Programme Celebrates Fleetwood Success  

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A teenager from Fleetwood has proved the importance of mentorship for young people after engaging with the Champions programme.

Champions mentor, Gary Smith, met with a young man who was referred for a drug dependency and aggressive behaviour at home which was affecting both his family relationships and his own wellbeing.

After initially being resistant to the support being offered, the 15-year old’s participation gradually evolved as he developed a rapport with his mentor, Gary.

Gary said: “My work is fundamentally about establishing relationships of trust with young people and helping them make positive decisions.”

“By treating every young person, I meet with the respect they deserve, rather than just as a troublesome individual going through the system, I can help them to develop skills, resilience and a positive attitude which ultimately helps them to fulfil their full potential.”

After expressing a desire to earn his own money, the teen worked with Gary to successfully set up a car washing initiative at school. This newfound sense of purpose gained positive recognition from both teachers and staff at his school.

This positive behaviour change led to him being offered a full-time placement at 4 Tech moto, an alternative provision in Blackpool which provides vocational training in Motorcycle and Motor vehicle engineering.

Gary added: “Being able to give young people opportunities like this through the Champions programme is invaluable. It shows that with the right guidance and opportunities, individuals do have the potential for positive change.”

The Champion’s programme was set up by the Lancashire Violence Reduction Network and nine football club community organisations to support young people and prevent them entering the criminal justice system.

Champions mentors like Gary, work with people aged 10-25 across Lancashire on a daily basis with the aim of preventing and reducing crime and anti-social behaviour.

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