PC Ady Cafe based at Milton Keynes was presented with the Darren Campbell Sports Award by Mark Lancaster MP at a ceremony at the House of Commons last night (14/10).
Part of the 2019 Kids Count Inspiration Awards, the Darren Campbell Sports Award recognises individuals or groups who are committed to inspiring and enthusing young people to positively embrace sports, with providing or aiding inclusive opportunities for anyone interested.
PC Cafe is a neighbourhood officer in Milton Keynes and was seeing high levels of anti-social behaviour in the New Bradwell area. After speaking to the young people involved, they told him that as youth clubs had closed down, they had nothing to do and were bored. PC Cafe worked with the young people and the local parish council to establish a boxing club which launched in 2018. Funding from the parish council meant it was free for anyone to attend.
The young people helped to set club rules, design logos and attended meetings with PC CAFE, the parish council and the coaches to help manage the club. Their enthusiasm for the club, pride in being part of something and acceptance of the rules meant that within a year ASB had reduced by a massive 54% in the area and the majority of the youths were not involved in any further ASB or criminal activities.
Following this success, PC Cafe decided to establish a similar scheme in secondary schools in Milton Keynes with his colleague PC Steve Prestige. PC Cafe and PC Prestige sought funding, recruited top professional coaches and met with partner agencies and school heads to introduce after-school boxing and kick boxing clubs into schools. In May 2019, ‘Boxing Clever’ was launched in six secondary schools across the area and the interest from other local schools means that there are plans to extend the scheme over the next year. The school attendance and behaviour of those students involved have improved since the launch of Boxing Clever.
On his award PC Cafe said: “I am honoured to have won this national award for the work that I have done in Milton Keynes. I am passionate about working with young people and believe that successful early intervention work comes from collaborating and engaging with the younger generation rather than by assuming we know what the issues are and how best to resolve them. It has been rewarding to see the positive changes in the young people involved in both boxing schemes and this award really adds to this sense of pride.”
Mark Lancaster MP for North Milton Keynes who nominated PC Cafe for the award said: “PC Cafe is an absolutely fine example of someone who is dedicated to making an impact in his community. His commitment and resolve is most certainly worthy of this accolade and I will support him and his team as his project continues to grow.”