Urban Stars is the flagship project delivered as part of our strategic partnership with the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Under this partnership both organisations work together to deliver a programme that will:
- Deliver grass roots sporting projects in areas blighted by poverty, anti-social behaviour and gang activity to reduce crime, promote citizenship and offer alternative pathways for participants.
- Develop a training curriculum for project participants, volunteers and coaches across the sport for development sector, and implement a national and international roll out.
- Implement a research project to identify best practice and make recommendations on how sport can tackle youth crime, anti-social behaviour and gang membership.
Promote and deliver best practice recommendations and workforce development and training with other partners and like-minded organisations across the sport, community development and education sectors globally.
With this in mind, the Urban Stars programme addresses issues of youth crime and anti-social behaviour in communities by providing early interventions and diversionary activities for young people aged 13 – 19 years, group programmes for referred young people in the youth justice system and re-integration into the community for young people leaving care or leaving Young Offenders Institutions. The programme offers sports as diverse as football, boxing, weightlifting, basketball and dance, coupled with mentoring and group work sessions to address behavioural issues, personal and social development projects and youth leadership and training. Participants are supported into mainstream sports provision or back into education where appropriate.
The Urban Stars programme worked with the Metropolitan Police, sector skills councils, professional sports clubs and grass roots project workers over 2010 to establish training needs for workers using sport in a community safety context. Following this process Active Communities Network staff worked with accreditation specialists to develop occupational standards and training materials to respond to those training needs. In 2011 a new Vocationally recognised qualification pathway (levels 1 – 3) in the use of sport tackling youth crime was launched with an Introduction from Edwin Moses.
Urban Stars originated in London (Croydon, Lambeth, Southwark) in 2009, before extending to the West Midlands (Birmingham and Coventry) in 2010, and Manchester in 2011 with additional support from the St. James Place Foundation and Sport England.
We are currently working with partners to extend the programme into other areas of the UK and Ireland.
Urban Stars continues to be the subject of an external research project, due to be published in June 2012.