Chowns Mill roundabout workers chip in £3,000 to help Northamptonshire youngsters way out of knife crime
Money raised will go towards project offering alternative to life in gangs
Workers building a new £24million roundabout clubbed together to donate more than £3,000 to a project aimed at helping Northamptonshire youngsters turn away from knife crime and gang violence.
Money raised by firms involved in the National Highways scheme to improve traffic flow at Chowns Mill where the A6 meets the A45 will help meet the cost of courses run by Elite Survival Training.
Those courses are linked to the Community Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV) run by Northamptonshire Police. It aims to work with young people who are involved in, or are at risk of becoming involved in knife crime or gang violence.
Ric Ellis, from CIRV, said: “Money raised to pay Elite Survival Training to run a series of woodland skills survival courses this year has inspired and enthused some of the most vulnerable and marginalized young people in the County.
"This includes those in or on the periphery of knife and other crime, or who may indeed have been victims of this themselves.
“The outcomes of the courses have included increased self-esteem and self-confidence, with those attending going onto other interventions which have included skills training and access to work trials and jobs.
“All of the Chowns Mill businesses we have worked with becomes a My Back Yard partner and receives our social impact award. We hope to work with these partners again so we can realise other significant social outcomes together.”
The CIRV project saw huge success during trials in Cincinnati, Boston and Glasgow before arriving in Northamptonshire a couple of years ago.
It is designed to reduce gang violence, not by locking up members but by working with them to show them the consequences of the life they are choosing to lead and offering them an alternative pathway through mentoring, support, job opportunities and other change programs.
Anyone can be referred into CIRV, whether that be someone who needs help themselves to get out of ‘gang life’ or someone who is concerned about someone they know.
Each of the contractors who sponsored the courses will receive a Social Impact Award Certificate from My Back Yard – the project working with CIRV and the business community to help deliver the initiative.
The donors also have an invitation to attend a session with the young people themselves to see how the funding is benefitting them.
National Highways Project Manager, Dean Holloway, said: “This is an incredibly worthwhile cause and we are happy that our scheme has been able to support their work.
“As well as the generous donations from our contractors, we will also be taking the opportunity to talk to the young people about potential future careers and perhaps inspire them to join the highways industry.”