Boys and girls who have aspirations of becoming community leaders are to be congratulated by the Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police, Brian Moore.
The young people from the Muslim community, aged between 11 and 17, have attended weekly youth clubs with the aim of promoting British citizenship and leadership skills. The partnership has been formed between Swindon Youth Offending Team, community groups, the Drove People’s centre, and the Muslim Youth Development project.
Up to 40 young people have attended the clubs every week to take part in a whole range of recreational, educational and sporting activities. The programme has also seen them attend residential leadership courses, debating forums, employability courses and a visit the House of Commons.
Nine young people will receive Youth Achievement awards from Mr Moore today (19 October) at the youth club at Drove Community Centre.
Cllr David Renard, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “I am delighted this partnership has been formed and has provided these opportunities for boys and girls in the Muslim community.
“The young people have made great strides over the past few months and have shown a great deal of maturity and enthusiasm in the various activities they have been involved in. I would like to pass on my congratulations to them for achieving their awards.”
Amir Ayub, Co-ordinator of the Muslim Youth Development Project, said: “The Muslim Youth Development Project was set up as a joint venture between the town’s Youth Offending team and the Drove Community Centre to inspire young Muslim men and women to train as youth leaders and engage in positive activities designed to foster greater community understanding and co operation between all faith, religious and community groups.
“The take up in numbers for the youth club, weekly activities, debating forums and educational and employment programmes has been remarkable, and clearly demonstrated a need for this type of support.
“These young people are the community leaders of tomorrow and are setting their sights on a much greater understanding and co operation between all community groups in Swindon in order to reduce tensions, misunderstandings, and vulnerability to extreme views. They are keen to develop a strong British identity and help others from outside the Muslim community to engage with them.”