Leeds United-backed scheme for '˜hard to reach' kids is going up a league

An innovative scheme has won new support for its efforts to tackle anti-social behaviour in east Leeds by harnessing young people's love of football.

Wednesday, 22nd August 2018, 3:12 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd August 2018, 3:15 pm
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The Halton Moor Premier League Kicks coaching and education programme currently runs on Friday evenings at Meadowfield Primary School’s multi-use games area.

It encourages “hard to reach” eight to 19-year-olds from across the community to get involved in constructive activities.

Levels of youth-related anti-social behaviour dropped by 40 per cent after the programme began in 2016.

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And now extra funding from backers including the Leeds United Foundation means the scheme will start running seven days a week from next month.

A behaviour learning support officer will also work with children in and out of school to improve “attendance and attainment”.

Welcoming the project’s expansion, Temple Newsam ward councillor Debra Coupar said: “It’s fantastic that funding has been secured to run the sessions seven days a week and I’m delighted local young people can benefit from such a high quality scheme, delivered locally at the heart of where it is most needed.”

Michael Kinsey, from the Leeds United Foundation, said: “Hopefully being able to deliver these practical sessions seven times a week will channel children away from negative influences and into positive directions.”

Halton Moor Premier League Kicks was originally funded with the help of Leeds City Council’s outer south east housing advisory panel.

The new funding has come from sources including Veolia and the council’s outer east community committee as well as the Leeds United Foundation.