A Normanton youth club bringing youngsters from different backgrounds together for fun activities is to receive a visit from Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa.
The PCC will attend Pear Tree Youth Club in Derby tomorrow <WEDS> to meet volunteers and see for himself the way in which the project promotes inclusion and addresses topical issues such as drugs, alcohol and hate crime among its young audience.
The youth club, led by the city’s Multi-Faith Centre in partnership with Roma Community Care and Peartree Baptist Church, provides a range of activities for youngsters aged between 11 and 19 including arts and crafts, hockey, football, music, dance, pool and table tennis.
Alongside recreational facilities, volunteers also work with young people on awareness campaigns such as healthy relationships, knife crime awareness and drugs and alcohol.
The club, which launched in November 2012 and is held in Peartree Baptist Church, is predominantly attended by the Roma community and many of the youngsters have opened up about their experiences of racism during education workshops on hate crime.
As a result, the club holds awareness-raising sessions on what a hate crime is and encourages young people to report any racist incidents or crimes they encounter to police.
In addition to weekly ‘report it’ sessions, youth leaders are also monitoring the impact of these experiences on the wellbeing of the youth club members.
The visit coincides with Hate Crime Awareness Week which runs from October 8-15 and has been organised as part of the partnership work between the force, the PCC, Derby City Council and Derby Homes.
Among those joining the PCC will be representatives from Peartree Safer Neighbourhood Team, Helen Faulconbridge from Derby Homes, Ruth Richardson, youth club manager at the Multi Faith Centre and representatives from Derbyshire Victim Services (Remedi).
Mr Dhindsa said: “This project is not only strengthening community relationships and promoting inclusion it is also tackling the very serious issue of hate crime and supporting vulnerable young people who face discrimination on a frequent basis.
“One of the difficulties of addressing hate crime is the fact so many victims continue to suffer in silence and I’m very impressed with the work that takes place at Peartree Youth Club to challenge unacceptable behaviour and empower youngsters to report their experiences to police.
“The youth workers involved in this project are providing a vital service, building self-confidence and giving these young people the tools they need to make safe and healthy lifestyle choices in future. I’m very much looking forward to seeing this work in action during my visit.”
The Multi-Faith Centre (MFC) has been working with the Roma Community in Derby for more than five years. Through this work, MFC supported the creation of Roma Community Care (RCC) in 2012 - a support and advocacy organisation for new communities, particularly Roma, which includes youth engagement work in schools, one-to-one mentoring and the twice-weekly youth club.
MEDIA INVITE: Members of the media/photographers are welcome to join Derbyshire PCC Hardyal Dhindsa on his visit to Peartree Youth Club. The event will take place on Wednesday 12 October at 5.30pm at Peartree Baptist Church, Peartree Road, Derby, DE23 6QD. If you would like to attend please advise Sallie Blair on 01283 821012.
Media enquiries: Sallie Blair 01283 821012
Posted on Tuesday 11th October 2016