Valentine’s Day puts the focus on love and romance, and Croydon’s youth engagement team is using those sentiments to raise awareness of healthy relationships among young people from the Premier League’s Kicks programme locally.
The initiative, run jointly by the council and Palace for Life, uses different activities to increase social inclusion and to help young people engage in sports, educational opportunities and employment.
During February, young people, aged 16 to 19, are being asked to consider their sexual and mental health during workshops that run alongside their weekly football games.
The seven-a-side teams play each week at Selhurst Sports Arena, and the bite-size workshops are running throughout the sessions, as each team plays for 10 minutes per game.
The workshops are supported by Off The Record youth counselling service.
Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for communities, safety and justice
“We are keen to help young people raise awareness of healthy relationships and to stay safe in many different areas of their lives.”
Future plans include a workshop on internet safety and financial abuse, run by charity Safer London, which works to prevent young people getting exploited.
And, from March 5 to 9, the team will promote National Apprenticeship Week by providing information and opportunities to encourage young people, including those not in education, employment or training, to speak to prospective providers, find out about opportunities and get support.