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 Youngsters to hangout as part of new initiative

 28/06/2019

YOUNG people are set to benefit from a new scheme allowing them to ‘hangout’ and enjoy free activities.

The Hangout concept aims to provide a safe environment for children aged 11 to 16 and will offer a range of activities in Stanley twice a week throughout the summer.
 
The initiative is led by the Stanley Neighbourhood Policing Team in response to antisocial behaviour last winter involving youths at the town’s bus station.
 
PC Gary Smith tasked the young people throughout the area to take ownership of the issue and the Hangout was born.
 
Activities will include everything from sports to Nerf wars and even include special sessions with local businesses who will come in and teach the children about their trade.
 
PC Smith set up a steering group with pupils at North Durham Academy where the eager youngsters got creative and came up with their own logo and brand.
 
They also worked hard to create all the posters and marketing materials to encourage their peers to make use of the opportunity.
 
PC Smith congratulated the youngsters with a special visit to the school earlier this month.
 
He said: “The kids have put an awful lot of hard work into the scheme and come up with the name and done all their market research.
 
“They have taken ownership of it and should be very proud of themselves.”
 
The sessions will be held at Tanfield View Medical Group car park, In Scott Street next to Iceland from 5.30pm to 8pm, every Wednesday, from July 3.
 
Saturday sessions will also begin from July 20, at the same times.
 
All youngsters need to do is turn up on the night to enjoy the free activities and everyone is welcome until the sessions come to an end in September.
 
PC Smith said: “The most important thing is providing a space where kids can have activities and be kids without fear of being called a nuisance.
 
“We often hear that kids have nothing to do so we hope this is a positive solution that engages with youngsters.
 
“It’s also great that we have local businesses coming in to give the youngsters an experience of their trades and sign post them if it’s something they are interested in.”
 
The scheme has been supported by Durham’s Police Crime and Victims Commissioner Ron Hogg, Durham County Council, Stanley Town Council, Streetgames and Reevo Coaching.
 
For more information visit the Stanley Police Facebook page or turn up on July 3.