A local youth group have received funding from the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit to provide wrap-around support for young people at street level within Barnsley.

The Youth Association StreetSmart Programme received almost £12,000 from the Violence Reduction Fund and aims to contribute to a reduction in violence and crime uptake among young people.

The funding for Barnsley will expand the core programme with additional sessions aimed at drugs education, violence against women, mental well-being and violence as a socio-cultural norm.

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner visited the project on Wednesday, 15 September to see how the youth workers engage with the young people.  He said: “Young people today face many challenging situations that can so easily see them drawn into crime and serious anti-social behaviour.

“I will do what I can to help them through this time of their life.

“I am pleased to be able to fund this project and the crucial role the youth workers play in it.

“They build good relationships with young people and help them to understand how to make good choices and avoid bad ones as they navigate their young lives.

“Through the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit we will do everything in our power to support vulnerable young people.”

Ian Bailey, Barnsley Partnership Manager for the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit also attended the project and saw how the young people were engaging in workshops discussing sterotyping.  All of the attendees were regular visitors to the skatepark and were mixing fun activities with a skateboarding coach together with some important discussions that can help them make positive choices.

Rebecca Coyne, Lead Youth Worker for the Youth Association StreetSmart Programme said: “The Youth Association’s ‘4 wards’ detached youth work projects seek to engage young people in their space and on their terms.

“Youth workers build trusting relationships and meaningfully engage young people in The Youth Association’s street-based initiative ‘Streetsmart’. It offers young people the opportunity to develop essential life skills relevant to their lives and experiences of the world, in a space which is safe and inclusive.”

You can find out more about the Youth Association and the work they do in Barnsley on their website –