Youngsters at the forefront of two innovative projects increasing awareness on key policing issues are celebrating success in a national crime awards contest.
Dragon’s Den Style Project 8, delivered and part-funded by Nottinghamshire County Council, and Nottinghamshire Youth Commission’s Know Your Rights film, have won joint second and third place respectively at the coveted National Crimebeat Awards, held in London last week.
The projects - both of which received funding from Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping and give young people a stronger role to play in public safety – have each received £500 in prize funding to contribute to their ongoing work.
National Crimebeat is the youth crime prevention charity of the High Sheriff’s Association of England and Wales, which is celebrating its 20th Anniversary.
The ceremony was attended by HRH The Duchess of Gloucester along with Metropolitan Police Chief Cressida Dick and former High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire, David Sneath, who nominated the projects back in January.
Dragon’s Den Style Project 8 saw teenagers from six schools across Ashfield showcasing their ideas to promote mental health and wellbeing and tackle pressing issues such as cyber-bullying in front of a high-profile panel of ‘dragons’. The winning team, Ashfield School, received £1,000 to transform their ideas into reality at their school.
Sophie Eldridge, 15, a pupil at Quarrydale Academy, which was involved in the project, said: "It was an amazing experience and reassuring to know that people are seeing our message on such a large scale and also understanding it.
"I’ve really enjoyed being a part of it and hope to continue the good work in the future."
Leah Sareen, Community Safety Team Officer for Nottinghamshire County Council, added: "For Dragon’s Den Style Project 8 to come joint-second in the adult-led category is a real achievement. The national platform these awards have given us is really important.
"The event organisers estimated the reach of these projects together to be in the region of 85,000 young people which is absolutely amazing. The quality of all the projects has been outstanding and for two Nottinghamshire projects to be in the top three in their respective categories is fantastic."
‘Know Your Rights’ explores issues relating to the police’s use of stop and search powers and was developed on the back of feedback from young people who said they were unsure of their rights.
The film, which has been screened at schools and colleges as part of a roadshow to educate young people on stop and search, was chosen out of 36 projects to reach the final of the youth-led category.
Nathanael Moore, 21, who starred in the film, said: "It’s amazing to see all our hard work come together and be recognised at this awards ceremony. Through the project we’ve delivered important information to many, many people."
Charlotte Williams, 21, who also starred in the film, said: "It’s really rewarding to be acknowledged for what we’ve achieved and the hard work which has gone into creating this film."
Gabrielle Jones, Youth Commission coordinator at social enterprise firm Leaders Unlocked, added: "We’re absolutely ecstatic to get this far and it’s amazing to come third and receive prize funding to go towards the project in the future.
"All the young people involved did a fantastic job today communicating their work to a large audience and can be very proud of their achievements."
Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable Craig Guildford said: "The innovation and fresh ideas that these young people came up with are fantastic; they are a real credit to themselves.
"Considering that projects are submitted from all over the country, to have two finalists from Nottinghamshire is absolutely brilliant. A huge congratulations to them both."
Paddy Tipping said: "Reaching the final of this contest is a fantastic achievement and everyone involved in bringing these projects to life deserves high praise for their hard work and effort.
"Young people have a special insight into crime and public safety and can contribute positively to the development of solutions. Both of these initiatives have delivered meaningful change in young people’s understanding of key issues affecting policing and crime today and I cannot thank them enough for their support.
"I would like to offer my congratulations to everyone involved."
Councillor Gordon Wheeler, Vice-Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Community and Place Committee, added: "It’s great news that the Ashfield project has come joint-second at this prestigious national awards.
"The Dragons Den style format really brings young people’s creative talents to the fore and helps them to gain a greater understanding of important issues such as mental health and cyber bullying."
Posted on Monday 23rd April 2018