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15 Jan 2020
RFL partners with social investor partner to tackle youth crime
By Tom Walker
RFL partners with social investor partner to tackle youth crime
The Inspiring Futures programme will be made up of three strands: Educate, Aspire and Connect
Photo: RFL
The Rugby Football League (RFL) has been awarded £660,000 from the Youth Endowment Fund to launch and evaluate Inspiring Futures – an initiative aiming to reduce youth crime and violence.

The programme has been designed to prevent young people from getting caught up in violent crime through work at schools, local communities and families.

The programme will be delivered by the charitable foundations of RFL clubs Hull FC, Leeds Rhinos, Warrington Wolves, Wigan Warriors, Leigh Centurions, St. Helens and Huddersfield Giants.

The Inspiring Futures programme will be made up of three strands: Educate, Aspire and Connect.

Educate will see coaches from the clubs’ foundations deliver assemblies in local secondary schools to 8,750 young people, aged 11 to 14, over the next two years.

The sessions will use messages and media from professional Rugby League players to promote self-esteem, teamwork and well-being. Coaches will also work alongside these schools to run 12-week mentoring programmes to support young people with behavioural issues.

Aspire will use a sports-based programme to develop the life-skills and confidence of 1,400 young people. The foundations will work with local crime prevention agencies to target anti-social behaviour hotspots, first-time offenders and young people at high-risk of offending.

Connect recognises the importance of strong family relationships in preventing young people engaging in crime and violence. The ten-week intensive therapy programme will work with 315 young people and their family members to strengthen relationships, develop resilience and improve communication.

"Too many children have their lives blighted by violent crime," said Jon Yates, executive director of the Youth Endowment Fund.

"Across the country organisations are working hard to change this.

"With this money we can make a difference and learn lessons that can help across England and Wales.”

Ralph Rimmer, RFL chief executive, added: "We know that young people want and deserve direction, guidance and positive role models to look up to – and unfortunately what can happen in the absence of these things.

"Rugby League clubs are at the centre of their communities, with owners, coaches, volunteers and players all involved with local activity that benefits their town, city and region. With the support of the Youth Endowment Fund, we know that Rugby League will make an even bigger difference for young people.”

The Youth Endowment Fund will evaluate the impact of the RFL’s Inspiring Futures programme and share the learning to support further early intervention projects across England and Wales.

The Youth Endowment Fund supports and evaluates promising early interventions working with 10 to 14-year olds in England and Wales to prevent youth offending. It was established with an endowment of £200m over ten years from the Home Office. A total of 23 early intervention projects have now been awarded funding, totalling £17.1m and reaching over 36,000 children.

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