JAM in the Hood has been launched in Wellingborough and the youngsters taking part will be supporting Northamptonshire Police’s Operation Challenge.
Following the success of the scheme in Corby and Kettering, the two teams will each comprise 15 young people between the ages of 13 and 16 who will be working towards both an ASDAN accreditation in community volunteering and AQA qualifications in subjects, including domestic abuse, anger management and hate crime.
The aim of JAM in the Hood is to give young people a greater understanding of how police and partner agencies work and their role in making better and safer communities, while also helping to change the negative perceptions that some people within the community may have of young people.
Inspector Julie Mead, who leads the project, said: “It’s really exciting to be involved with the launch of these new schemes. Taking JAM in the Hood into other communities shows how popular this project has become since its initial launch three years ago. The young people who sign up to become part of the extended police family show real commitment in the volunteer work they do in their own community which gives them key skills for life.”
She added: “This is a partnership project between Northamptonshire Police, Groundwork Northamptonshire, Northamptonshire County Council and Wellingborough Council. We are also lucky to have been sponsored and supported by the local charity Always a Chance which was set up in memory of two local young men who tragically lost their lives last year and which aims to help to make a difference to the lives of young people at risk of being involved in violent crime.”
Violence Reduction Team Inspector Kevin Byrne added: “Operation Challenge is dedicated to reducing violence across Northamptonshire. It’s great news that these young people will be getting out and about talking to people, reinforcing our aim of reducing harm within the community. They’ll be raising awareness on the subject and getting strong messages across about the potential and serious consequences of becoming involved in violence.”
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