Sports project gets vital grant

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A youth sports scheme credited by police for cutting anti-social behaviour has had its immediate future secured thanks to a council grant.

Street Sports is a free programme organised by Anglia Community Leisure (ACL) and backed by Forest Heath District Council and Suffolk County Council. It has been running in Newmarket, Mildenhall and Brandon for the past three years during which time it has had more than 18,000 attendances.

Featured in the Journal last week receiving a cheque for £1,000 from Newmarket Lions, the scheme has now been boosted by a £5,300 grant from Suffolk County Council.

“Quite simply without this donation from Suffolk County Council Street Sport would not have been able to continue in Forest Heath during the winter and we are immensely grateful to Suffolk County Council for the grant,” said ACL’s sport and physical activity development office, Keiran Williams.

“Young people in Forest Heath value the service we offer, they know they can come to us for support and advice. Sport is key to engage young people but we also have staff trained to support them with a range of youth related issues from smoking to sex education.”

Providing youngsters with a safe environment to meet and play sport the project has worked with Suffolk Police in reducing anti-social behaviour in the district and helped some of the area’s most deprived young people.

It runs at Newmarket Leisure Centre on Friday nights from 8pm to 10pm, Red Lodge Sports Pavilion on Friday from 7pm to 9pm, and at Brandon Leisure Centre on Wednesdays from 8:30pm to 10:30pm.

Newmarket and Red Lodge councillor Lisa Chambers, Suffolk County Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for education, skills and young people, said: “We’re delighted that Anglia Community Leisure has been able to continue to run its youth Street Sports programme this winter.

“Supporting the project financially means that the organisers can continue their fantastic work raising aspirations and helping children and young people to achieve their full potential through sport.”

Street Sports is looking for more funding to continue to offer sessions to young people. If you or your business could help with a fundraising event or nominate the project as your charity of the year then email Keiran Williams at