Youth project win award forÂ inspiringÂ social change through sport in Sheffield suburb
A project set up in a Sheffield suburb to keep young men away from violent crime has won an award for their achievements in inspiring social change.Â
Big Brother Burngreave is run by teenagers, for teenagers, bringingÂ together boys of all different ages and backgrounds so they can play sports, develop friendshipsÂ and do something positive with their time.Â
Now, the groupÂ have been recognisedÂ with the '˜Move More Power of Sport' award for their achievements in using sport to impact change within their community.
Safiya Saeed, who has beenÂ a community development worker in Burngreave for a number of years through the Reach Up youth group, founded Big Brother Burngreave.Â
She said: 'It's great for the boys, to have been nominated for our community work, what weÂ are doing and the impact we are having.Â
'We have been getting a lot support from the community because these kinds of schemeÂ helpÂ to reduce anti social behaviour within the area.'
The project launched over a year ago through Sport Relief, as part of a national pilot which provided initial funding and training to help community groups set up their own projects, and then allow local people to continue running them for themselves.
Safiya visited local colleges, and through her work as a community activist went to other contacts to encourage boys to get involved.
The groupÂ initially offered basketball sessionsÂ and later introduced aspects for social change alongside the sport.Â
Starting with just seven boys, the group have now grown to include around 70 boys on the books, with 20 boys turning up to each session.
Many of the boys are keen to break the stigma of growing up in an area like Burngreave, which can sometimes be viewedÂ in a negative light.Â
And, community leaders volunteer their time to mentor the young people to ensure they stay involved in positive activities.Â
Safiya added: 'The project empowers young people to deliver their own positive activities and saw four people funded to complete their community sport leaders award, and then lead weekly activities for their peers.
'It is about paving the way for the generation behind you. Many of the boys come from a single mother household.Â
'A lot are at risk of gettingÂ involved withÂ anti-social behaviour or some vulnerable ones are recruited by drug dealers into gangs. We wanted to give them somewhere to go, and introduced aspects to bring social change once the boys started to trust us.
'It started with conversations, and finding out what is going on in the area. We offer continuous support throughout.'
The group focus on a range of topics such as youth mental health, education and equality.Â
Sahal Bare,Â who completed his community sports leader award, said: 'We are young people with bright futures. It can sometimes feel as if there are influences on your life which are stopping your lights from shining. We need to work together to make sure we continue to shine in our community.'
Sahal, along with other youth leaders Tesfahun Awoke and Abdul Malik Onasan also complete outreach work in the area as well as promoting the positive work of the project.Â
Sessions are run on Saturdays 1-3pm at the Verdon Recreation Centre, Burngreave.Â