up with Home Office minister Lord Falconer today as he kicked off a new phase of a
campaign to keep kids off drugs and away from a life of crime.
2000 and has so far helped over 25,000 10 - 19 year olds, gets
vulnerable young people involved in sport and on track to a brighter
The minister was joined at Arsenal Football Club by Dion Dublin,
Carlton Cole and Tessa Sanderson to announce the locations of
37 new projects throughout the country which will be supported by a
cash boost of £18m.
Speaking at Highbury Lord Falconer said:
'Getting and keeping young people away from drugs is the highest
priority of the government's drug strategy.
'Positive Futures is making a real difference to the lives of
thousands of vulnerable young people in some of our most deprived
communities and we, and the Football Foundation, are extending that
valuable help to 37 more communities.
'Through sport and team activities Positive Futures engages directly
with young people building their self-esteem, increasing their skills
and helping them learn to relate better to others. Right now more
than 7,000 people are involved in its projects - that's 7,000 young
people away from the streets and getting their lives on the right
'This initiative is only one of many in the government's drug
strategy to engage young people. We recently launched the
ground-breaking Frank campaign to give young people and their parents
advice about drug use.
'It is essential that we support vulnerable young people at an early
stage, before they get involved in drugs and their problems escalate.
Schemes such as this can help prevent another generation of young
people becoming drug addicts and criminals, and help prevent drugs
and crime tearing apart families and communities.'
Dion Dublin said:
'Positive Futures is an innovative and exciting way of using sport to
support vulnerable young people and help them make the most of their
lives. I am delighted that the additional £3m investment from
the Football Foundation will ensure that football continues to make a
Arsenal chairman, Peter Hill Wood said:
'The club is delighted to be involved in the Positive Futures
initiative as much of our community work focuses upon encouraging the
social inclusion of local youngsters through sport and education. By
working in tandem with the other partners involved in Positive
Futures, we aim to actively engage youths involved in drugs and
crime, in the hope that it will reduce youth offending and misuse of
drugs as a result.'
Positive Futures works with children and families in deprived
neighbourhoods to steer them away from drugs and crime by getting
them involved in sport and physical activity. The focus of some of
the new projects will be on the communities worst hit by drug-related
crime. They will pay particular attention to building links to
education, training and employment programmes for 16-19-year-olds.
An evaluation showing the success of its existing projects and a
three-year strategy to ensure it continues to help as many children,
families and communities as possible was also published today.
The evaluation shows that Positive Futures makes a valuable
contribution to re-building communities and helping vulnerable young
people. It finds that through sport young people improve
relationships with each other and adults; they raised their
aspirations; improved their skills and reduced drug use, crime and
1. Positive Futures is a government initiative managed within the
Home Office drugs strategy directorate. The advisory group consists
of representatives from the Department of Health, Department of
Cult ure Media and Sport, the Connexions Service (DfES), Sport
England, Youth Justice Board and Football Foundation. There are
currently 67 local projects operating in neighbourhoods across
England and Wales, all falling within the top 20% as identified
through the multiple deprivation indexes. The programmes are
delivered by a range of agencies including local authorities,
charities, sports clubs and crime reduction agencies and are
currently targeted at the 10-16 age range. Positive Futures aims to:
- reduce drug use;
- increase interest in sport and physical activity; and
- reduce youth offending.
2. The new projects will be introduced in:
Aston Bexley Blyth Valley
Bradford North Brent Camden
Central Bristol Chester le Street Colchester
Corby Dartford Doncaster
Ealing Gloucester Great Yarmouth
Hammersmith Islington Killingbeck
Lancashire Leicester Lewisham
Millgarth Newham North Derby
North Liverpool North Manchester Penzance
Sheffield South Manchester South Tyneside
Southend Sparkbrook / Sparkhill Stockton
Swindon Tower Hamlets Wandsworth
3. The government has made £15m available as part of the
SR2002 package which was announced in December. The allocation of the
money to Positive Futures was announced by Bob Ainsworth, Home Office
minister with responsibility for the government's drug strategy, on 3
February 2003 as part of a funding announcement for young people's
drug services. The Football Foundation have contributed £3m over the
next three years, and Sport England have contributed £0.4m to help
fund the existing projects.
4. Frank was launched on May 23 and is jointly funded by the Home
Office and Department of Health and supported by the Department for
Education. To talk to Frank call 0800 77 66 00 or click here.