A police officer who helped set up boxing clubs to steer unprivileged youths away from crime has won a Kids Count Inspiration Award
PC Ady Cafe saw rising levels of anti-social behaviour among young people in New Bradwell, after youth clubs were closed down in the area.
And he decided to work with the troubled youths to set up a boxing club in 2018, with funding from the parish council, Thames Valley Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner.
The project proved a huge success after helping cut anti-social behaviour in the area by more than 50 per cent.
PC Cafe then established a similar scheme at secondary schools in Milton Keynes with his colleague PC Steve Prestige.
He and PC Prestige recruited top professional coaches, and met with partner agencies and school headteachers to introduce after-school boxing and kick-boxing clubs into schools.
In May 2019, Boxing Clever was launched in five secondary schools across the area and the interest from other local schools means that there are already plans to extend the scheme over the next year. The school attendance and behaviour of those students involved have improved since the launch of Boxing Clever.
Danny Hayles, a teacher at Hazeley Academy, said: “Students we saw come in shy or reclusive, have been seen to be more confident and out-going. Equally, students coming in with a high level of energy are also able to redirect it in a more focused way via the program.
"Our trainer Kelly Haynes promotes positivity and safety as well as bettering one’s self through focus and effort. This is a great message that coincides with our own school values. I would thoroughly recommend the program to other schools.”
PC Cafe based at Milton Keynes accepted the Darren Campbell Sports Award on behalf of himself and Thames Valley Police, which was presented by Mark Lancaster MP at the House of Commons.
PC Cafe said: “I am honoured to have won this national award for the work that I have done in Milton Keynes.
"I am passionate about working with young people and believe that successful early intervention work comes from collaborating and engaging with the younger generation rather than by assuming we know what the issues are and how best to resolve them.
"It has been rewarding to see the positive changes in the young people involved in both boxing schemes and this award really adds to this sense of pride. This success would not have been possible without the help of my colleagues and professional partners and I would like to thank them for all of their assistance along the way.”
The Darren Campbell Sports Award recognises individuals or groups who are committed to inspiring and enthusing young people to positively embrace sports, providing or aiding inclusive opportunities for anyone interested.
Mark Lancaster MP for North Milton Keynes who nominated PC Cafe for the award said: “PC Cafe is an absolutely fine example of someone who is dedicated to making an impact in his community.
"His commitment and resolve is most certainly worthy of this accolade and I will support him and his team as his project continues to grow.”