DANCE, music, art and paintballing are being used by a community group to try to divert youngsters away from crime.
The My Life Project, which is in its second year and is based at Remington Youth and Community Centre in Parson Cross, has worked with 15 different agencies across South Yorkshire including schools, voluntary and faith groups and the police.
It runs its own independent projects in Parson Cross including workshops and themed programmes to help keep young people on the right track.
The project has used art and music to help explain the dangers of knife and gun crime to young people and youngsters were allowed to spray a mural onto their community centre wall saying ‘drop the gun, drop the knife, choose life’.
Youngsters involved in the project also helped decorate Asylum Paintball on Scotland Street, Sheffield, and in return the project has been allowed to use the facility for free to work with young people.
Project leader Carl Kennedy said: “MLP’s work focuses on using urban art, dance, music and DJing amongst other approaches to engage with young people, build their trust and confidence and support their personal development.
“My Life Project and two officers from Hillsborough Safer Neighbourhood team recently delivered an hour-long session on the impact and consequences of gun and knife crime with a group of eight young males.
“This was followed by two hours of paintballing, where the Asylum Paintball team set up games that illustrated shootings, incorporated team work and group work tasks.
“This was not a case of ‘us and them’ as the police were put on sides with the young people. The evening was the first ever done in Sheffield and will continue to develop with Asylum as part of them working with communities.
“MLP is growing and continues to work with a lot of young people. Their focus is now to open a building full time in north Sheffield supporting young people into employment and training though the arts and media.”