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Streetwise get High Sheriff Award

Our Young People's Neighbourhood Panel (Young people in years 7-10 who are currently involved either as peer mentors and/or representatives on the Young People’s Neighbourhood Panel ) have been awarded £490.

The money came from the Voluntary Commitment Grants of the Cambridgeshire High Sheriff’s Award Scheme for our Streetwise  -  The Young People’s Neighbourhood Panel Conference which we are organising for May 2009. The group have been invited to attend the Awards Ceremony on 11th March to receive their Award.

About the Streetwise Conference project: We are tackling issues of anti-social behaviour ( ABS) .  Namely raising young people’s awareness about what ASB involves and what consequences there are if young people are involved in ASB .

We are doing this because in the course we have been doing around community issues it has become clear that not everyone fully understands what ASB is or what the consequences of being involved in ASB are.   Recently there has been an increase in levels of ASB in Soham and there is a lot of negative publicity directed at young people.  

As such Soham is a priority area for the Safer Neighbourhood Panel, which involves partners from the Police, District and Parish Council  and voluntary sector .

So far young people in the project have helped survey local need and input into forward planning for the town , we have surveyed opinion and recommended youth shelter designs to councillors and some have taken part in developing material for anti-bullying week.  

Importantly young people choose what they want to be involved with.  In this latest project young people want to be seen as part of the solution and want to work with their peers to change attitudes and raise awareness as well as sending a clear message to adults and agencies that they need to improve the way they communicate with young people about community issues .  

We are planning to gather information and plan interactive workshops for young people to take part in .  Local decision-makers will also be invited to sit in on the event and join the workshops.

Note about the grants from the High Sheriffs Award Scheme :

1. Voluntary Commitment Grants: Grants of up to £500 for projects that involve young people in voluntary commitment (defined as giving their time for the benefit of others and not as attending a club or activity for their own benefit) and are working to achieve one or more of the following:

  • A lasting effect on the community by making it a safer and more pleasant place in which to live;
  • Enhance the quality of life of others in the community through provision of an activity or entertainment;
  • Significant improvement of the local environment;
  • Promotion of crime reduction activities. 

Examples of previously funded projects include young people from a village youth club taking part in a litter pick; a group of girl guides running a holiday club for children from a deprived area; a youth group helping the community by improving the village hall garden and making it accessible to people with disabilities; a group of young people renovating broken bicycles to be redistributed to those who need them; young people working to tackle anti-social behaviour in their village.


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