(Left to right) Jamie Maddocks (White Cliffs Boxing), Leader of DDC Cllr Kevin Mills, participants Dexter Hyland, Maisie Edwards and Cole Hyland, sport coach Dominic Castle and Garry Jackson (Legion Barbell).
Young people at risk of offending or reoffending have been steered back onto the right path thanks to an innovative new project by DDC.
In a bid to reduce anti-social behaviour and support troubled youngsters, the council joined forces with youth sports clubs in the Dover district to roll out the Inspire 2 Change pilot.
The free programme received £10,000 funding from the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner and offered activities including boxing, weightlifting, multisport and assault courses to young people at risk of offending or reoffending aged 10-18.
Throughout the eight-week project, the youngsters were supported by a team of mentors and activity providers with vast experience in helping young people.
Those who took part gained important life skills, confidence and better all-round mental wellbeing, which will help them to make positive choices going forward.
Feedback from the scheme showed significant improvements in the participants' behaviour and motivation in their day-to-day lives. They have now been offered the chance to take part in further activities through DDC’s wider Inspire programme.
Due to its success, Inspire 2 Change will begin again in July and is open to young people through a referral process.
Cllr Kevin Mills, Leader of Dover District Council, attended a celebration event on Friday (May 19) in the Council Chamber where he paid thanks to the groups involved in the project.
This included White Cliffs Amateur Boxing Club, Legion Barbell, Boonies in Betteshanger, Roads to Freedom CIC and Dominic Castle, who provided multisport coaching from Tides Leisure Centre in Deal.
Cllr Mills said: “We would like to thank the hard work of our partners in the Inspire 2 Change project who have helped a group of young people, who might have otherwise taken a different path, make the right choices for a brighter future.
“Community sport activities such as these help improve the prospects of young people by highlighting the importance of teamwork while encouraging individual participation in a competitive manner.
“The project has helped instil confidence, discipline, adversity and pride in these youngsters, and I have no doubt they will take what they have learned and use it to better themselves.”
Notes to editors:
Referrals to the programme were submitted by Kent Police, Youth Justice and social services.
Posted on 24 May 2023