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Norwich church football restores community pride 

TrinityVauxhallFootball450Weekly football sessions organised by a Norwich church, aimed at reducing anti-social behaviour and giving young people a reason to care for their community, have been proving a real success.

Organised by the Holy Trinity Church, and supported by the police and Norwich City Council, the midweek football sessions in the Vauxhall Street area of central Norwich have been credited with reducing anti-social behaviour in the area in the four years since they were launched.

Players and officials from the church’s football club and from the Norfolk Christian Football League lead the sessions for local eight to 19-year-olds at the Jenny Lind Park.

Tim Stapleford, co-ordinator of the sessions, said playing sport had helped forged relationships with the young people in the area, many of whom have grown up with the project.

He said: “Over the four years that we have been working on the park with the local young people we have seen the original core group of 20 or more mature through to their mid teens as very responsible young people who really care for their community.

“Many of them now assist us in putting on even more park activities and youth club sessions for the greater numbers of children now coming along, of primary school age.

“We are now getting sufficient additional funding to train some these older ones to assist us and expand the regular team of park supervisors and sports coaches.

Lord Mayor of Norwich, Keith Driver, found out more about the project during a recent visit and joined the youngsters in a kick about.

With the help of Green city councillor Stephen Little the project has obtained funding from the Youth Advisory Board, which has meant it has been able to offer some employment for local young people.

Read more of this story on EveningNews24

Pictured above are some of the youngsters taking part in the weekly football sessions at Jenny Lind Park in Norwich.