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Youngsters in Walsall have achieved their goal of purchasing much needed sports equipment – thanks to a grant from the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner.

Minhaj Pleck Youth Club, in Woodward Road, organises regular evening and weekend activities for more than 25 local youngsters aged between 10 and 17.

The young members were keen to try out a number of new sporting activities including badminton, boxing and cricket, but despite working hard to help develop their youth club, the youngsters did not have enough money to purchase sports equipment.  

Youth club organisers successfully applied for a £400 ‘Community Initiatives Fund’ grant from the PCC, which has not only provided the youngsters with a range of badminton and cricket sports equipment, but also funds the hire of a sports hall.

The objective of the Community Initiatives Fund is to improve community safety and increase reassurance within the community. The fund has been running for many years, having been started by West Midlands Police Authority in 1992.

pleck walsall cif

This week (Monday 9th March) Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, visited the youth club to see how the new equipment was helping to make a difference to the youngsters’ lives.

He commented: “I was delighted to see how enthusiastic these young people are about their youth club and the many activities it offers them. What particularly struck me as they gave a presentation on their plans for the future of the club was their mature attitude and excellent communication skills which will stand them in good stead as future leaders of our local communities.

“Minhaj Pleck Youth Club does brilliant work in the local neighbourhood. Before the youth club was set up in 2013, parents and youngsters alike had expressed concerns about crime and anti-social behaviour, as well as an urgent need to engage young people in an area which lacked recreational and sporting activities.

“Many of the new initiatives come from the young people themselves and that is why I am so pleased to help support the work that the youth club does.

“My Community Initiatives Fund provides small grants of up to £750 to help projects that encourage community contact with local neighbourhood officers, therefore increasing trust and confidence while reducing crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour.”

Qasim Siddiq, Chairperson of Minhaj Pleck Youth Club, said: “Running a voluntary-supported youth club has been a lot of hard work. At times it can be frustrating trying to find the money to support new activities.

“We are extremely grateful to the PCC for kick starting our sports programme of events. All of our young members are so proud of their youth club and the new sports equipment is really proving to be a hit with them.”

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