Sporting charity scoops £150,00

A SPORTING charity has received a £150,000 Government cash pledge to help in the war against drugs in some of north Essex's most deprived areas.The money will be spread over four years to enable the Colchester United Community Sports Trust to target areas in west Clacton and East Harwich.

A SPORTING charity has received a £150,000 Government cash pledge to help in the war against drugs in some of north Essex's most deprived areas.

The money will be spread over four years to enable the Colchester United Community Sports Trust to target areas in west Clacton and East Harwich.

The payout was announced yesterday by home office minister Lord Falconer at Highbury football ground. It forms part of the Government's Positive Futures campaign and aims to get vulnerable young people playing sports, instead of descending into a life of crime.

The Trust's chief executive, Stephen Bradshaw, yesterday said he was delighted to hear of the funding.


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"Our ultimate aim is to develop new community sports and social clubs.

"What we are finding more and more is there just isn't the infrastructure in those areas of deprivation.

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"One of the reasons some young people turn to drugs and petty crime is because they don't have anything to do."

He added he hoped work could start on introducing opportunities for sports in the target areas by the end of next month.

Mr Bradshaw said that the first year would concentrate on football while the second would concentrate on basketball.

"It is a really exciting project for us in two areas which have been seen as having problems," he said.

A Home Office spokesman said that the areas identified were the Tendring District Council wards of Golf Green, Bockings Elm, Rush Green and St Mary's.

A further 36 areas around the country have also received funding, including parts of Southend, Gloucester, Great Yarmouth and London.

Announcing the Positive Futures funding, Lord Falconer – accompanied by athlete Tessa Sanderson and footballers Dion Dublin and Carlton Cole - said: "Getting and keeping young people away from drugs is the highest priority of the Government's Drug Strategy.

"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."

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