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University backs bid to tackle anti-social behaviour

Published: 22 March 2002

The University of Southampton is backing a bid to tackle anti-social behaviour by some youngsters, by part-funding a scheme in the city's Swaythling district for 8-13 year olds.

The programme, SKYPP (Swaythling Kids and Young People's Project) is a multi-agency collaboration involving the city safety team, the police, local community workers, city youth services and play services representatives. It is run by the Swaythling Youth Project, which is based at the Swaythling Methodist Church. The University is giving the scheme £15,000 a year for two years to pay for two part-time youth workers.

The aim of SKYPP is to engage with young people in the area who are most at risk of becoming involved in anti-social behaviour, and provide them with activities and opportunities by securing facilities for them within the community.

It is hoped that SKYPP will also back up widening participation initiatives at the University by making Southampton youngsters more aware of educational activities.

Assistant Director of Facilities at the University, and chair of the project Andrew Burgess said: "This project is in its very early days, and it may be three or four years before we begin to see any benefits. There are no obvious quick fixes to social problems, but the right agencies are working together with a common agenda and co-ordinating their efforts in partnership."

He added: "As a leading large employer in the area we feel it is our responsibility to play our part in the community and to build good relationships."

The University has also recently won £400,000 in of joint funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the Home Office through the Higher Education Active Community Fund. Part of this grant will drive forward the SKYPP project.

 

Notes for editors

The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University, which celebrates its Golden Jubilee in 2002, has 21,000 students and over 4,900 staff and plays an important role in the City of Southampton. Its annual turnover is in the region of £215 million.

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