Crime commissioner visits Keynsham football club 'making real difference' to children's lives

Published on: 01 Sep 2017

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A holiday football club for youngsters in Keynsham received a visit from Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens in August.

Ms Mountstevens dropped in to meet coaches at Kelston Road Football Club to find out more about the initiative, which offers free coaching sessions to help improve children’s social skills as well as encouraging them to enjoy sport.

The scheme is supported by the Commissioner’s Community Action Fund and was awarded £2,415 for its efforts in aiming to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the area.

This is the second time Ms Mountstevens has been invited to the club after initially meeting with Nick Dewfall, who runs the club and won a PCC Pride Award in 2016 for his work, before being invited back to one of the summer school holiday sessions and to meet the coaches on August 23.

Speaking after the visit, Ms Mountstevens said: “I set up my Community Action Fund for initiatives like those provided by the club to help make a difference to young people’s lives.  This project is not only great for community cohesion and bringing everyone together, but while the sessions are being run there is a reduction in anti-social behaviour in the area. 

“I’m always delighted to see these types of projects first-hand and to meet the people working behind the scenes to make them a success.”

Head coach Michael said: “I’ve been coming here since I was nine, never missed a session! I was home-schooled because of anxiety, and this gave me the confidence I needed in myself. I am now a Level 1 qualified football coach and have just finished college.

“This has been such a brilliant opportunity for me as I now have a job with Bath City. I just hope some of the kids follow in my footsteps.”

One of the mums whose children attend every session said: “This is so good for people that don’t have a lot of money because it is free, and gets the kids out of the house in the fresh air and exercising.

“I only live two minutes away so for me, I can come here and watch the kids play and just relax for a bit. We don’t know what some of the older kids would be doing if they didn’t have this through the holidays. The younger ones would be stuck inside, too.

“We are gutted the sessions are ending next week and just wish they could run through the half terms, too.”

To find out more about the Commissioner’s Community Action Fund and to apply for a grant of up to £3,000, visit www.avonandsomerset-pcc.gov.uk/Partnerships/Commissioners-Community-Action-Fund.aspx

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