Network Norwich and Norfolk > Regional News > News Archive > Young People Archive > Norwich youth drugs project a success

Norwich youth drugs project a success

VoiceboxThe Matthew Project Youth Team has been working in partnership with Norfolk police on an exciting project in Mulbarton over the last six months, engaging with young people to tackle ongoing anti-social behaviour and problematic drug use.

The Youth Team has been working with 56 different young people on The Matthew Project Voicebox mobile caravan. The work has involved talking about issues relating to drugs and alcohol, staying safe and identifying ways to promote community involvement.
 
The outcomes of the Mulbarton Youth Engagement Project, funded by South Norfolk Council, have been extremely positive. Young people have a much greater awareness of the risks of using drugs and drug driving and with the support provided several have reported reduced drug use. The impact on the local community has been very positive. Police have reported that the crime rates in Mulbarton have significantly reduced with the number of anti-social behaviour crimes dropping by 37% and calls from the public about anti-social behaviour dropping by 55% in the same period.
 
The local church has been very supportive, providing an extra youth worker and baking cakes each week. In July a football match was held; Mulbarton young people v Police Community Support Officers and after a very close game the police won! The game helped open up communication and break down stereotypes, resulting in much better relationships between the young people and the police. Plans are now underway to sustain the work by starting a weekly young people’s drop-in provided by the local Anglican Church and volunteers from the community.
 
PC Hambling, from the Safer Neighbourhood Team comments, ‘There has been a historical problem of anti-social behaviour and vandalism in Mulbarton for some time. The Matthew Project can only be congratulated on their work. This partnership working has proved so successful that Norfolk Constabulary will now look to enlist the help of The Matthew Project in other areas that are experiencing problems.’
 
The Matthew Project is committed to working with young people in a way that helps them develop as individuals and within the communities in which they live.
 
The Matthew Project Youth Team can be contacted by email at youth@matthewproject.org or by telephone on 0845 868 8172.

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