PROJECTS designed to make Tameside a safer place have been praised for their effectiveness.
Tameside Council’s Community Safety team secures grants to commission projects that strengthen communities and keep people safe.
Evaluation of their work over the last financial year shows the large number of people benefitting and commendations from participants for making a difference.
Tameside Community Safety Partnership has five key priorities in making Tameside a safer place to live, study, work and visit:
- Building stronger communities
- Preventing and reducing violent crime, knife crime and domestic abuse
- Preventing and reducing crime and anti-social behaviour
- Preventing and reducing harm caused by drugs and alcohol
- Protecting vulnerable people and those at risk of exploitation
The projects include:
- The Safe Squad delivered safety training, from first aid to online protection, to more than 2,382 young people in 59 primary schools across Tameside. Schools described the sessions as “engaging”, “very informative”, and “a really positive and valuable experience.”
- Arts Awards, working with schools on themes linked to staying safe or the environment and providing young people with nationally recognised qualifications that help inspire them to be involved in the arts. Fifteen schools participated with 630 pupils receiving an Arts Award and gaining a greater understanding of personal, road and online safety. One teacher said: “The children have been able to develop a deeper understanding of their emotional health and wellbeing.”
- Ground-breaking anti-bullying play OutLoud was performed 30 times in a tour of 13 schools and Pupil Referral Units that engaged with 2,489 students. The acclaimed play and workshop, which raise awareness and understanding of diversity and discrimination, toured during Anti-Bullying Month, LGBTQ+ History Month and Greater Manchester Hate Crime Awareness Week. Evaluation showed that 87% of students believe that watching the play is more effective than a lesson on the topic and 78% of students would challenge homophobic bullying after watching.
- Tameside Story Makers “Sunny and Rainy Days” addressed the impact the pandemic, restrictions and lockdown had on children’s and family’s mental health and wellbeing. The sessions encouraged participants to become actively involved in a community project, strengthening community and social cohesion. More than 1,000 children took part and the project saw a big increase in participants joining a library and borrowing books more regularly. The Local Government Association is using it as a case study of good practice to share with other authorities and organisations. Parents and teachers called the sessions “fantastic”, “engaging” and “inclusive.”
- Working with Active Tameside in the community to tackle anti-social behaviour in Droylsden by providing young people with accessible and inclusive sports, health and wellbeing, life skills and physical activities.
- Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) drama activities and discussions in schools that resulted in a play that reached 1,783 young people, as well as sessions with a group with more complex needs at increased risk of CCE. The project increased awareness of CCE and the skills and assertiveness to avoid it, and how to access support. All the young people involved in the third phase said they enjoyed the workshop and were more confident in identifying whether someone was trying to exploit them, with 90% having learnt something new. Teachers said pupils engaged really well, particularly the most challenging students.
- The Tameside Building Stronger Communities Fund, which has allocated £60,000 to 37 community projects across the borough to enable a variety of activities and schemes to be delivered and developed.
- Supporting and promoting 29 Neighbourhood Watch groups and facilitating their annual conference.
- Promoting the Safe4Summer campaign to encourage young people to keep themselves and others safe, including around water and reducing anti-social behaviour, arson and hoax calls.
- Establishing Fresh Start Clubs across the borough, a community initiative that enables residents to meet others and get support and advice.
- Supporting Operation Avro, a multi-agency operation to reduce anti-social behaviour on the transport network.
- Helping establish a Public Space Protection Order in Ashton Town Centre to build on existing work with the police and provide stronger enforcement powers to help address concerns over crime and anti-social behaviour.
- Other projects include: a campaign with GMP to tackle illegal off-road bikes; developing 17 Tameside Litter Hubs to enable clean-ups; involvement in the multi-agency Operation Safer Tameside, which focused on road safety; raising awareness of hate crime and how to report it, with events in partnership with Ashton United FC; Our Day, which engaged 230 children in a day of learning outdoors in response to the impact of lockdown on mental health; and Here Comes Tango, a play about diversity that reached 4,051 pupils.
Tameside Council Executive Member for Towns and Communities Cllr Vimal Choksi said: “Our Community Safety team put a lot of hard work into establishing and supporting projects that aim to make Tameside a safer place and I’m delighted to see how well received and effective they are in raising awareness and supporting people.
“I’d like to thank all the partner organisations who have worked with us, and continue to do so, for their fantastic efforts that have made these projects a success. Community Safety will continue to expand on their work to make Tameside a safer and better place for all.”