Project unites youths and the community

Tenants of Stansfiield Close with members of the community
Tenants of Stansfiield Close with members of the community

Anti-social behaviour incidents dropped significantly after a multi-agency approach at Hanson Lane, Halifax.

Tenants at Stansfield Close felt intimidated by youths congregating at entrances to the 39-apartment supported housing complex occupied by the over-50s.

The nearby Himmat charity which uses alternative teaching methods worked with the young people from the Pakistani and Slovak communities to gain an understanding of their situation and explain why their behaviour was causing concerns.

The youngsters were taken on outings and started tending the gardens at Stansfield Close to help build relationships with the tenants.

Several teenagers have now progressed their lives positively moving into further education, employment and learning new skills with a view to gaining apprenticeships.

The project has also had input from Pennine Housing, Halifax Central Initiative and the police. Darren Burton, of Pennine, said it is hoped to replicate the success of the scheme elsewhere.

He said the complex was surrounded by private housing and not everbody was known to staff and Himmat had helped build bridges.

PC Ralph Sillitoe said officers and Pennine staff saved time from not having to attend regular incidents. “The project has significantly reduced calls to police. From one or two calls every day we had three in the last month. Hopefully the legacy can continue,” he said.

Erik Duda, 15, originally from Slovakia, said he had enjoyed being involved with the project and had benefited from it.

The youngsters and tenants enjoyed lunch together to mark the end of the project which began in May.