County Durham Community Foundation and Sport for Development charity, Sported have joined together to help Skerne Park Youth and Community Centre launch a new karate programme ‘High Kick’.
The Centre has been awarded £2,000 to get its High Kick programme off the ground in the aim to reduce crime and improve community cohesion in Skerne Park estate.
In an area that suffers from high levels of crime, the programme has been designed to engage young people in a fun and credible activity, teaching respect and discipline through the medium of karate, whilst also providing a positive diversion away from crime and anti-social behaviour. As well as benefitting from more active lifestyles, the young people will be introduced to other services and support offered by Skerne Park Youth and Community Centre, from drug and alcohol education to healthy eating plans.
The High Kick programme is being supported by a number of local partners including the Durham Police Constabulary and the Local Authorities’ Youth Service and Learning and Skills Team (LST).
Philip Seymour, Development Officer at Skerne Park Youth and Community Centre, commented: “It’s a real boost to the club to be awarded the grant from the County Durham Community Foundation and Sported. We know that sport is a great way to get young people engaged and interested with what we do, so the introduction of High Kick will really help us to expand our reach in the Skerne Park area.”
Sported and County Durham Community Foundation are both dedicated to helping communities grow by creating opportunities and tackling issues of disadvantage and exclusion. Since launching its joint small grant scheme in 2013, the two organisations have awarded over £17,800 to local community groups in County Durham and Darlington that use sport to improve the lives of disadvantaged young people.
Sandra Hillyard, North East Regional Manager at Sported, said: “Skerne Park Youth and Community Centre is a real asset to the local community, providing a much needed environment for young people to come and get healthy, learn new skills and escape the pressures of the street. It’s exactly this type of community club our partnership with County Durham Community Foundation was established to support, so we’re delighted to see the launch of such an exciting new programme.”
Barbara Gubbins, Chief Executive at County Durham Community Foundation, said: “This is a great partnership that works extremely well together and this project is a fantastic example of this. We are delighted to be able to fund initiatives such as these and see the benefits that funding gives.”
The Joint County Durham Community Foundation and Sported scheme offers grants of £500 to £4,000 to not-for-profit clubs and organisations based in County Durham and Darlington that use sport or physical activity to improve the lives of disadvantaged young people.