Nottinghamshire Police’s summer events ended this week after nine roadshows across the city and county with hundreds of kids taking part, 500 meals handed out and countless opportunities created for youngsters.
Nottinghamshire Police organised a series of events in communities to prevent a rise in youth crime and violence and giving young people a positive outlet.
Activities ranged from shooting hoops at basketball and high-kicking martial arts action to learning lifesaving water safety skills with the police and fire service.
Youth outreach worker Romel Davis organised the sessions. It’s his mission to give kids across Nottinghamshire more opportunities.
He said: “It’s so important to get the kids back out in open spaces after lockdown, which has been such a difficult time for us, especially youngsters and providing them with fun and educational activities.
“It’s helping us build those strong relationships and giving them something really positive to do. It’s been terrific to have support from all the local organisations, I can’t thank them enough.
“We need to give kids positive outlets, give them positive things to do and it will make a huge difference for the community and themselves.”
The force travelled to Ollerton, St Ann’s, Arnold, Forest Fields, The Meadows, Retford, Chilwell, Bilborough and Arboretum throughout August. The force also arranged hundreds of nutritional meals to be delivered and handed out to the vulnerable kids.
Nottinghamshire Police is working with the national charity bringing together restaurants and their communities to fund, produce and deliver free meals to those in need.
Romel added: “We are working closely with Open Kitchens who are working with local restaurants who have been providing meals to young people and their families. It’s the summer holidays and not everyone has access to cooked meals. We’d like to give them a massive thank you, thanks to them we have provided more than 500 meals to those who need it most.
“The force has arranged it all and there is that subconscious positive message that it’s the police that has put it all together and that obviously sends a deeper message.
“It’s been a really positive summer and I’d like to thank all the kids for coming along and getting involved and taking part.
“We’ve had some really exciting organisations come and demonstrate what they do. We know how impactive these events are to youngsters.
“It’s massively important that we can do more days like these. It can make such a difference to the younger generation throughout Nottinghamshire.”
The force’s Schools and Early Intervention Officer for City West Paul Kanikowski ran sessions for teenagers this week including educating kids about the dangers of alcohol.
The team were present along with a host of local organisations including Nottingham Forest Community Trust, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, The Army Desert Rats, CAMHS, Nottingham Martial Arts Academy, Helping Kids Achieve and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service.
He said: “The roadshows by the force is the ideal opportunity to do some engagement work with kids that we don’t normally see because they might be a little hesitant to speak to police officers and for us it’s all about trying to break down the boundaries and barriers.
“We’ve been offering fun activities, which are educational. This week we’ve had the beer goggles out which starts a conversation about alcohol and the dangers of drinking.”