An innovative project to help curb anti social behaviour in Gainsborough has been hailed as a success as it prepares for its sixth year.
The Firecracker initiative, which started in 2010, is headed up by social housing provider Acis Group and is designed to provide young people aged 11-16 with activities during the times around Halloween, so-called Mischievous Night and Guy Fawkes’ Night.
The month long series of Friday night activities includes games, nail art, t-shirt design, sweet making, cake decorating and logo design as well as providing an opportunity to learn first aid skills.
Youngsters also get a hot meal each night.
Held at the Park Spring Community Centre in Riseholme Road, Gainsborough, the sessions are also supported by Lincs Police, Lincs Fire and Rescue and West Lindsey District Council.
Claire Glasby, Acis community safety manager, said: “Over the last five years we’ve made a real difference to the local area. The young people have started to look forward to Firecracker around this time of year and local residents are benefiting from quieter streets.”
Gainsborough police inspector, Simon Outen, said: “Lincs Police is very pleased to be able to support Firecracker.
“It was set up a number of years ago to tackle rising youth antisocial behaviour around the period leading up to Halloween, which was causing concern to the local community and Acis tenants.
“As a result of the work undertaken, the initiative has continued annually, and consequently a drop off in reported complaints has continued.
“The work itself ensures that the youngsters who attend become involved in a variety of different activities, and has helped ensure that they are proactively engaged rather than being tempted to become involved in antisocial behaviour.
“This has been of benefit not only to those youngsters who engage in the available opportunities, but also to the wider community, and Lincolnshire Police will continue to support and participate in this event.”
Firecracker 2015 runs from October 16, to November 6, with sessions from 6pm to 8.30pm every Friday.
Acis Group provide affordable housing and student accommodation across Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire.
For more information about Acis Group, visit www.acisgroup.co.uk.