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Eidgah Stars Football Club has received a grant of over £8,000 from West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner’s Active Citizens Fund.

The project mentors young people aged between 5 and 16 years of age in playing and learning the skills of football.

The weekly training sessions act to steer young people away from violence, knife crime and anti-social behaviour. Many of those involved live in and around Perry Barr, where access to extra-curricular activities is limited.

For some young people there is a lack of adult role models. However, working with parents or guardians, the project mentors overcome difficulties by highlighting to parents the benefits of exercise and physical activity for their young children.

The Active Citizens Fund totals more than £400,000 and is money which has been seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act. Each year, the Police and Crime Commissioner invites local community groups to bid for a grant from this fund. The money must go to community projects and cannot be spent on recruiting officers.

Some parents are unable to pay the nominal fee due to their financial circumstances. Therefore, funding from the Active Citizens Fund helped cover the cost of footballs, training kits, equipment, venue hire, as well as project coordinators and mentor costs.

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Waheed Saleem said: “This project is yet another Active Citizen Fund success story.

“I am pleased that once again we are taking money from criminals and reinvesting it in local communities.

“Eidgah Stars Football Club is doing excellent work in providing positive opportunities for young people in an area where there is limited access to extra-curricular activities”.

Murium Asim, Managing Director of Eidgah Stars Football Club, said: “This funding has helped the youngsters in the Perry Barr area get involved in physical activity, team sports and regular get-together with their friends.

“The children have now formed some wonderful relationships, developed footballing skills and gained an understanding of violence and crime.

“As a result of the mentoring sessions many of the children are now better placed to make sound decisions that benefit them in their lives and keep their communities safe.”

Once this project is complete, organisers will seek to continue the project through self-sustainability with a nominal fee from the participants in order to cover basic running costs.

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