- Hamza Choudhury helps launch ‘Youth Power’ project in Leicester
- The Trust have helped secure funding to keep four youth centres open in Leicester
- The event was held at Kingfisher Youth Centre on Thursday
- The programme is a partnership between LCFC Community Trust, Leicester City Council and De Montfort University
Leicester City Academy graduate Hamza Choudhury swapped his football boots for a pool cue on Thursday as he helped launch ‘Youth Power’ - a new youth project aimed at tackling knife crime and anti-social behaviour in Leicester.
LCFC Community Trust, in partnership with Leicester City Council and De Montfort University, have managed to secure funding to keep four youth centres open in the city as part of the ‘Youth Power’ programme.
I’m fortunate that I had football to keep me occupied when I was younger. Anything that helps to keep young people off the streets and away from a life of crime can only be a good thing.Hamza Choudhury
The centres were initially earmarked for closure due to cuts to youth service provision in the city, but will now remain open two nights a week, 48 weeks of the year.
On Thursday, a launch event was held at Kingfisher Youth Centre, with Academy graduate Hamza Choudhury in attendance. He took part in some football drills with the youngsters, before taking some of them on at table football and pool.
Choudhury said: “It’s great to see the positive impact this programme is having on young people in the city. I’m fortunate that I had football to keep me occupied when I was younger. Anything that helps to keep young people off the streets and away from a life of crime can only be a good thing.”
Other activities on the day included Caribbean cooking classes and zorb football, while there was also an anti-knife crime workshop.
The ‘Youth Power’ programme is set to reach around 800 young people a year in some of the most deprived areas of the city, helping to engage them in positive activities.
Allison Tripney, LCFC Community Trust Director, said: “We are incredibly grateful to the Premier League Professional Footballers Association (PLPFA) for the funding they have provided and Leicester City Football Club for their support. It has enabled us to deliver a comprehensive programme of positive activity that engages and impacts on young people in Leicester.”
Samantha Merry, Youth Worker for Leicester City Council, said: “We’ve developed a strong relationship with Leicester City Football Club and are delighted to be working with them on this project, with support from students and staff from De Montfort University.
“LCFC’s funding for new youth worker posts means we’ll be able to expand what we offer; providing an extra eight youth club sessions each week in a partnership we’re calling ‘Youth Power’.
“The skills and experience the Football Club can bring will complement the skills of our specialist youth workers, benefitting young people from across the city. We very much value their contribution.”
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