Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting KNEWS to 80360, or email
Keighley youth project organisers hope for positive vote
A Keighley project that steers teenagers away from crime is hoping for a positive future despite possible funding changes.
Positive Futures has run for the past 10 years and supported more than 500 youngsters in trouble for various reasons.
Catering for around 100 young people, the firm has until now been funded nationally through the Home Office but will now fall under the control of a Police And Crime Commissioner.
A commissioner for West Yorkshire will be chosen through public elections next month. James, the Bradford charity which runs Positive Futures, is concerned that the commissioner might not realise the importance of Positive Futures.
Anna Shepherd, for James, said the charity was contacting the people standing for the commission to ensure they knew about its work.
She said Positive Futures staff were working more closely with police to ensure their services hit the police's priorities.
Police officers would be invited to get to know the young people during their Positive Futures activities.
Staff had joined with health charity Hale to work with young people in "hotspots" such as Lund Park, Victoria Park and Bracken Bank, in order to reduce anti-social behaviour and give advice on sexual health.
Steve Parnham, who runs Positive Futures in Keighley, said the project was about giving young people strong role models.
He said his team tried to keep everything fun, while addressing issues affecting the young people, such as sexual exploitation, drugs, or crime in their families.
He said: “A lot of them have severe issues in their lives or at school. There's often no parental support. They're looking for something in their lives.
“We're trying to steer them away from crime, or taking drugs, or negative social aspects. It gives them a sense of belonging to a group. It's a long-term programme. We keep them as long as we can, so long as they're benefiting. A lot of them have gone on to full-time jobs.”
JAMES provides activities for more than 2,000 young people a year across the district, using sport, art, motor mechanics and community work to help young people keep away from crime and do better in life.