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Kennedy: Kicks gives young people hope and ambition

25 Feb 2022
Everton in the Community, Serena Kennedy v3

Chief Constable of Merseyside Police says Everton's use of PL programme is benefiting the wider community

As Chief Constable of Merseyside Police, Serena Kennedy understands fully how investing time and resources in young local people can benefit the community as a whole.

Kennedy has seen first-hand how Everton in the Community (EitC) and its Premier League Kicks delivery offers invaluable opportunities to young people and the positive impact it is making.

"We work really closely with EitC and what we know is, when there is an evening and Kicks is running, that has a direct impact on anti-social behaviour in our communities.

"We see a drop in anti-social behaviour for the period while the programme is on, simply because it's something for young people to do.

Trustworthy mentors

"It's really important for young people to have those consistent people within their lives. It might be that something is going on that they don't want to share at home or school because sometimes young people don't thrive in schools, they see school as that authoritarian position.

"Coming to Everton in the Community and being on the Kicks programme, working with people week-in, week-out, having those consistent coaches and mentors building those trusting relationships might just be what that young person needs to share what's going on in their life.

"They develop really strong relationships and start to give those young people some hope and ambition on what they can achieve."

Serena Kennedy, Chief Constable of Merseyside Police

"We can then make sure from a partnership perspective that we wrap that support around the young person, get them access to what they need and hopefully give them the ambition and the hope that they deserve to go on and achieve great things.

Building relationships

"Some of the other programmes that we work on with EitC, we've seen reductions in serious violence. We've also seen the growth in those young people, watching their confidence grow as they come here and arrive on a programme not knowing what to expect and they actually work with the coaches and the mentors, week-in, week-out.

"They develop really strong relationships and start to give those young people some hope and ambition in what they can achieve, which for our communities in Everton and in Merseyside is so, so important but fantastic to see.

"By us having that relationship with EITC and with Kicks, the confidence grows, not only in programmes like Kicks but it also helps us engage with our young people and we get that trust and confidence growing in our community."

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