West Midlands Police has been involved with the Prince’s Trust Team programme since 2005 and currently delivers the 12-week courses at six centres around the region.
Trained officers have delivered more than 30 programmes, each catering for between a dozen and 15 young people, working in partnership with local education providers City of Wolverhampton, Birmingham Metropolitan and Solihull colleges.
WMP Prince’s Trust co-ordinator PC Sonya Hill
The Team programme is designed to develop and improve skills, further education and training opportunities and help get young people into employment. Courses are open to a wide range of groups including the unemployed, those who are in care or have recently left care, offenders and ex offenders. It involves community and fundraising projects, residential challenges and work placements, giving participants the opportunity to discover hidden talents, learn new skills and develop the confidence to progress into education and employment.
West Midlands Police Prince’s Trust co-ordinator PC Sonya Hill said: ”Team is about providing the opportunity to all young people to change their lives through targeted support and mentoring.”
West Midlands is the only force in the country to deliver the courses from its own premises, a feature highlighted by Stephen Rimmer, Director General of the Home Office Crime and Policing Group. He praised the force’s commitment to its partnership with The Prince’s Trust and “the wider use of police stations as community resources”.
Stephen Rimmer, Director General of the Home Office Crime and Policing Group, visits one of the Team programmes.
The Director General visited a West Midlands Police-led Prince’s Trust Team group and talked to the young participants – aged between 16 and 25 – to find out first-hand how their course had impacted on their lives. “I am very clear that this type of partnership provides a really powerful basis for developing programmes to reduce re-offending. And as resources get tighter over the next few years, this way of working together will become even more critical,” he said.