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‘Tough love’ course next month in bid to help Diss teenagers


Teenagers from Diss will have a chance to begin setting their lives straight at a three day “tough love” course in August.

The same ‘Time For Positive Choices’ course will also offer volunteers an opportunity to help young people.

It was like a light bulb switch went in my head and suddenly changed the way I looked at everything

The course for 14-16-year-olds from the Diss and Thetford areas will be run by the Benjamin Foundation in partnership with the Youth At Risk charity which has developed a programme to aid young people whose lives lack stability. It will be funded by the Norfolk police and crime commissioner.

Benjamin Foundation co-ordinator Bev Townsend said: “It offers local young people an opportunity to take responsibility for their lives and create a future they are excited about.”

It will be the second time the course has been held. After last year’s course nearly two-thirds of the young people involved were reported to have reduced offending behaviour. A third reduced their involvement in gangs, and all the young people reported feeling greater confidence and higher aspirations.

One young person from a former course commented: “It was like a light bulb switch went in my head and suddenly changed the way I looked at everything.”

The three-day residential course at an activity centre near Norwich will be followed in September by training to help young people work through past issues and realise their potential.

Recruitment has begun for volunteers to help the young people on the course. “No previous experience is needed, just a passion for making a difference and time available to coach,” says the foundation. Volunteers will be trained in Youth At Risk’s positive coaching techniques.

For more information about the course or to volunteer as a coach, call 01763 241120 or email ashley@youthatrisk.org.uk

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