Published on 12th March 2020

A boxing programme which is aiming to reduce school exclusions in areas of Cheshire is set to be extended to Winsford thanks to funding from police and crime commissioner (PCC) David Keane.

The 12 Rounds Programme uses sport and physical activity as a preventative method to reduce the risk of young people becoming involved in crime or being excluded from school.

It uses practical boxing as a tool to promote respect, discipline and resilience among hard-to-reach young people to ensure positive behaviour and engagement within school and their local community.

The students on the programme are also provided with opportunities to listen to real life stories from individuals involved in serious offences including drug-dealing and knife crime.

At the end of the programme, participants receive AQA Unit Award qualifications, England Boxing JBO Awards and work towards a number of outdoor educational qualifications.

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PCC David Keane said: “Over the last few years we’ve seen youth activities outside of school decimated as austerity has taken a hold of our communities, closing many youth centres and pushing our young people onto the streets where they are more likely to engage in violence and other criminality.

“Young people need a focus and the opportunity to come together with their peers outside of school to engage in positive and worth-while activities.

“Excluded pupils are significantly at risk from being involved in criminality with 42 per cent of serving offenders having been permanently excluded from school. Education is key to reducing these figures and keeping young people in school will have a huge impact on reducing violent crimes such as knife offences.

“Programmes like Queensberry Alternative Provision's 12 Rounds programme are helping to provide an outlet for young people in Cheshire to build skills and confidence in order to fulfil their potential, this not only has great benefits for the individual but the communities that could be affected by criminality and anti-social behaviour further down the line.”

Restorative justice also underpins the Queensberry AP model of work and this approach is what the founders say is pivotal in challenging the current issues such as the increase in school exclusions across Cheshire and the amount of young people becoming involved in drug dealing and knife crime across the county.

Paul Cooper, joint- founder of Queensberry Alternative Provision, added: “We are really pleased that the police and crime commissioner has chosen Queensberry AP as a benefactor of his Safer Communities Fund.

“The funding will be used to deliver our 12 Rounds intervention programme which will benefit a number of young people within Cheshire and support them with their education and positive choices both of which will impact positively on their communities.”