London has huge social challenges, not least when it comes to young people. The hugely diverse population of London at times causes tensions and can instil a culture of territorialism, stigmatisation and ultimately can develop into gang and criminal related activities.
Over many years, we have learnt there are some fundamental issues which sport can help address. Breaking Barriers is a response which takes a youth led approach, using sport to breakdown perceived barriers, be it cultural, territorial, or social. Breaking Barriers utilises ACN’s methodology, taking young people on a developmental journey, promoting and delivering volunteering, and developing young people as positive citizens who have greater understanding and respect for their community.
In Lambeth, Southwark and Tower Hamlets, Breaking Barriers has a weekly activity programme which offers young people aged 11-25 the opportunity to engage and start a positive journey.
The programmes key goals are to:
Improve relationships between young people and the community
Improved confidence, self-esteem and resilience helping them cope with challenges and succeed in adversity.
Preventing them from crime and antisocial behaviour, which will make the community safer.
The programme is being researched by London South Bank University, who will be presenting their findings and recommendation in 2020 which will inform future projects, youth strategies and policy.