The community sports charity StreetGames has been awarded grants totalling £85,560 from the Youth Endowment Fund to support young people at-risk of being drawn into violent crime through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funds will be used to support seven long-standing community projects to deliver targeted interventions for a total of 70 young people aged 10 – 14 years old, to improve their life chances and keep them out of the youth justice system.

In Erewash, StreetGames received £37,950 to deliver a targeted support programme in partnership with Erewash Borough Council, Parkside High Youth Project, Derby county Community Trust, Derbyshire County Council Early Help Team.

A further grant of £47,610 will support young people across Nottingham, where the charity has teamed up with local community organisations including Pythian Club, Helping Kids Achieve, Communities Unite and the Freedom Foundation.

Both projects will deliver 40 weeks of targeted support for young people aged 10-14 years, with young people receiving 1:1 physical activity session, trusted adult support and guidance and after the programme will be supported into local community exit routes.

By connecting young people to their communities, and providing them with inspiring opportunities, StreetGames works to tackle the twin issues of boredom and alienation – leading causes of petty criminality and anti-social behaviour.

StreetGames' highly-qualified tutors and hand-picked local volunteers provide not only structure and expertise but living, breathing proof of the transformational power of sport – redirecting misspent energy and empowering disadvantaged young people.

The Youth Endowment Fund is an independent charitable trust set up by the Home Office. It funds, supports and evaluates projects in England and Wales which work to prevent children and young people from being drawn into violent crime.

StreetGames is one of 130 organisations to share part of a £6.5m grant pot from the Youth Endowment Fund to help at-risk young people impacted by COVID-19.

Stuart Felce, Director of Sport and Community Safety at StreetGames, said:

“StreetGames uses the power of sport to give young people the support and opportunities that they need to live healthier, safer and more successful lives. We do that by working closely with brilliant local organisations who have the reach and reputation within their neighbourhoods to get support to those who need it most.

These funds will allow these local community projects to continue to do incredible work supporting vulnerable young people and their communities, and we’re delighted that their work is being recognised by the Youth Endowment Fund.”

Jon Yates, Executive Director at Youth Endowment Fund, said: “It has been too easy to forget vulnerable young people during this crisis. The pandemic has removed much of the critical support that many of them rely upon – from teachers to youth workers. This funding will help us find the best way to reach and support these young people when they most need it.”