Inspire Suffolk has been awarded a grant from the Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner to run a new sports project aimed at young men from eastern European and Asian communities in Ipswich – the Sporting Citizenship Programme.
Working in partnership with the Bangladeshi Support Centre, Inspire Suffolk will run the sports and citizenship programme aimed at men under the age of 30 living in the Norwich Road area of Ipswich to help bring the local community together. The project will be run by Inspire Suffolk, a charity that uses education and sport as a way of making a difference and has considerable experience in using sport as a channel to engage with the community.
Sport, primarily football, will be used as the initial ‘hook’ to engage people onto the 12 month programme, which will be complemented by training in other skills, such as English language, citizenship and IT.
The aim of the project is to create harmonious living between the culturally diverse communities within the Westgate Ward of Ipswich. The weekly two hour sessions will involve an outreach worker from the Bangladeshi Support Centre, experienced sports coaches, local police and other volunteers. It is expected that by attending these weekly sessions, the participants will start to bring their communities together amicably and be more understanding of the area in which they live.
Terry Baxter, CEO for Inspire Suffolk said “We know first-hand how extremely effective sport can be as a channel to engage with young people. The grant will allow us to connect with participants with the aim of a community that works together and helps to promote a better understanding of the diverse cultures and backgrounds in the area.
“We are very grateful to Tim Passmore for his generous contribution to this project from his Safer Suffolk Fund. We are really excited for the programme to start as it links strongly with one of our fundamental aims as a charity to use sport as a vehicle to motivate and educate the local community onto more positive futures. ”
Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore said, “Sport is a great leveller; as a referee I see that each week on the rugby pitch. Using sport to help engage with groups that would not naturally engage with the Constabulary is a great idea.
“I am very pleased to award this grant to Inspire Suffolk to help promote community cohesion. I am confident that this will make a huge difference to the young men living in the Norwich Road area of Ipswich. Understanding what is culturally acceptable is not always obvious and often these issues cause difficulties within communities. My hope is, by engaging with this sports project, the young men will become more engaged in the community in which they live and work and learn skills to help them integrate more effectively.
“Inspire has an excellent record of supporting the disadvantaged through sport and by partnering with the Bangladeshi Support Centre, I am confident that this will really start to work well to harmonise the different cultures and make a very positive impact to improving social cohesion.”