I first heard about Kick Off @3 on social media & then on Radio Verulam where I am also a volunteer. Over the next few months I found out more about this initiative and it was heart-warming to see all the good work Kick Off @3 do bringing young people & the Police together. After meeting one of the founders Michael Wallace, who is so passionate about Kick Off, it was hard not to offer to help. My brother was a serving police officer for over 30 years, so I grew up with a policeman in the house & as a teenager I didn’t always agree with him, but I totally respected the hard job he did. I am also a parent of a teenage son so the rise in knife & gun crime nationally & locally is not something that can be ignored. I love being involved in lots of community events with my job as a music promoter & radio presenter so I am hoping that I can contribute something & work with Michael & Ashley & all the other volunteers to further the goals of the project in St Albans but also all over the country. Urmm.... hang on a minute - I know nothing about sport!! but… it’s so much more than that. Yes, there is a lot of sport but there’s music & the arts & media all in the mix too & these things I do know a lot about.
These past few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind, finding out more about what Kick Off do & I was so pleased to be able to attend their finale on the 7th July. I invited my good friend Becky Phillips from North Herts FM, a community online radio station based in Stevenage, and we decided to try & help Kick Off & highlight their good work by broadcasting live from the finale. What an amazing day we had… we talked to so many interesting people & heard their stories. From the very famous to the ordinary hardworking volunteers & serving police officers, charities, community groups & more. It never ceases to amaze me what a few like minded people can do if they work together to a common goal.
One of the police officers I met was Sgt Andy George who had come with his team from Belfast -here’s a little story of what happened whilst they were in London & this for me is what it’s all about…..
Ashley and I along with our Kickoff@3 Planning team, wish to praise the actions of three young Football Finalists from Belfast.
Unknown to many of you, the three young men pictured were hero’s in support of a vulnerable female the evening prior to our Football Finale.
Sergeant Andy George from PSI and our Kickoff@3 Belfast Team Finalists Foin Sai Timor, were staying overnight prior to our Finale at a hotel in Bromley Borough. The three young men were relaxing outside their team hotel after an evening meal, when they came across a vulnerable lady who was found to be distressed.
The boys without hesitation and supervision immediately reassured the lone female, despite being unfamiliar with their London location. All boys used good communication skills to support and reassure the lady in clear distress. In turn they made a phone call to the local Police giving details of the circumstance.
They calmly stayed with the distressed lady until Police arrival, whilst also alerting Sergeant George to the situation.
Whilst we often hear negative press of our young people, this positive story is something we feel we must share with you all. It’s great to know that Kickoff@3, and those young people and Police Forces associated with us, are indeed changing lives on and off the pitch.
Well done to Sergeant George and his team, for his great teamwork and trusted relationships he has built with Foin Sai Timor and the community of Belfast.
I think Kick Off @3 will go from strength to strength over the next 12 months & it will be an interesting, rewarding & fun time & I believe it will make a difference.
Denise Parsons - Volunteer.