Friday and Saturday Night Project
NL Leisure’s Friday Night Project (FNP) is a free multi- agency project with the aim to improve the health and wellbeing of youngsters aged 9 – 18 years. Through the use of sport and physical activity including football, dance, games and many other activities, the programme aims to divert this age group from the attentions of drink, drugs and anti- social behaviour. The programme also offers coached gym sessions and fitness testing to help combat childhood obesity.
The project launched in October 2009 at Keir Hardie Sports Centre in Holytown and since then, has proved amongst the most successful youth sports programmes in Scotland and provides youngsters a positive environment to hang out. The programme has delivered to thousands of kids in the surrounding areas. Since launching at Keir Hardie, the programme is now available at four other venues in North Lanarkshire due to its success.
The programme alone has helped countless of young people move away from drugs, alcohol and anti –social behaviour through sport, encouraging youths to make positive life choices. At Keir Hardie alone, the number of youth related incidents in the Holytown area between 1st April 2008 and 31st March 2016 reduced significantly with the rate reducing by 78%. The percentage is calculated from the STORM command and control system which includes all incidents within the Holytown beats areas which have been assessed to have a youth element.
The FNP has been growing ever since its launch in 2009. The partnership comprises of North Lanarkshire Leisure Trust Ltd, Community Learning and Development, NHS Lanarkshire, Bellshill YMCA, and Police Scotland.
Along with the Friday night project, NLL deliver’s the Saturday night project to local communities. The project offers activities to young people between the ages of 9 – 18 years old. Similar to the FNP, This programmes aim is to keep youngsters off the streets by offering them a positive substitute to alcohol and drugs as well as offering the opportunity to socialise with other youngsters from areas throughout North Lanarkshire. Within this programme, coach education, volunteering and mentoring opportunities are offered to young people who are embedded in the programme to encourage participation in sport, sustainability of activities and possible routes to future employment.
The programme creates opportunities for vulnerable youngsters to take part in activities that they would not normally have access to. Through specialised coaches, the youths have an opportunity to participate in a range of alternative activities and interventions which would not otherwise have been undertaken. This has resulted in sustained crime reductions, breaking down of barriers, increased community participation and a sense of wellbeing. A regular extensive evaluation is carried out with attendees, their parents, local residents and partners to ensure maximum results. The Saturday night project is now available in Tryst, Wishaw, Airdrie, Shotts and Sir Matt Busby.
There is a range of diversionary projects accessible to young people in North Lanarkshire. NL Leisure engages with vulnerable youngsters within their communities. Throughout the launches of these programmes it is evident that the use of sport as the basic building blocks to engage and support the young people of NL. This demonstrates the positive impacts and outcomes that sport can achieve. Sport can be used to address issues and give youngsters a platform to grow. These programmes present positive role models through coaches and partners with each coach implementing their dedication in helping youths make positive life choices.
All projects aims are to decrease the perception and fear of crime and anti-social behaviour amongst the community.
The success of these programmes cannot be denied. With the projects being available for free, this give’s all youths aged 9 – 18 years old access to a crucial programme that will help shape their decision making and increase self-esteem in the ultimate goal, to help prevent anti-social behaviour that may occur due to boredom or negative life choices.
The Friday night and Saturday night project is open now for anyone aged 9 – 18 years to come along and take part.
For more information on the Friday night project click here.
For more information on the Saturday night project click here.