In 2017 Michael and Ashley devised a plan to establish firm, long lasting relationships between young people and their local police force as a youth diversion strategy and named it KickOff@3.
The project engages with young people through the medium of sports and music and raises awareness and funds for a range of charities that promote health and well-being in young people.
The project works by KickOff@3 providing local Police Forces a blueprint of how to run their local KickOff@3 event. The idea is that the Police organise a local youth football tournament, particularly focusing on young people who may be known as "hard to reach" who don't necessarily already play football in formal teams. Each tournament charges a small entry fee, which is donated to the Police Force's charity of choice.
The reasons we charge a small entry fee is to provide young people with the opportunity to not only engage in something fun, but also to contribute to society and give back to their communities. A second vital aim of these tournaments is to improve relationships between youth and Police. By our young people seeing and interacting with Police staff, and just having normal conversations with them over their love for football and sport, they get to see that there are people behind the uniforms and the job, just like anyone else.
For most people, when they think of KickOff@3, they think of fun events, opportunities for young people, engagement between the police and communities and successful charity fundraising and initiatives.
What people often don't see is all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes between the whole team, volunteers and supporters. KickOff@3 is a true manifestation of "teamwork makes the dream work".
We wanted to give you a glimpse into the blood, sweat, tears, laughter and planning that is behind every event, opportunity, partnership and fundraiser. Big thank yous to June Beckles for photography and StreetMic for videography.