Congratulations for an EPIC achievement

Doncaster Children’s Services Trust’s crime prevention team EPIC (Encouraging Potential, Inspiring Change) have been shortlisted for this year’s national Children and Young People’s Awards.
They are now in the finals for best Early Intervention programme and will be invited to attend the ceremony in London at the end of November.

EPIC launched last summer. The scheme is designed to both intervene with children and young people before they get involved in crime and provide robust alternatives to police cautions, police conditional cautions and prosecutions where young people have begun to offend, thereby diverting first-time entrants into the youth justice system.
The team deliver a number of programmes, including the Think Forward scheme, based on building emotional resilience and consequence awareness, while encouraging young people to get involved in programmes and interventions designed to increase aspiration and opportunity.
And, understanding the issues young people face in relation to their offending is crucial to helping the team to formulate an intervention plan to address any issues behind offending behaviour and to build on a young person’s existing strengths.
For the past year, the team have been running crime and consequences programmes in local schools and touring the area in their outreach bus to talk to young people about finding alternatives to getting involved in crime.
They have been working in Conisbrough for the past few months and, during that time, local people have really seen a difference, with comments including: “Since EPIC has started, the amount of young people committing crime has dropped significantly.” And: “There is a big difference now - it’s a lot safer and we see more people in the village that used to avoid the area.”
Commenting on the shortlist success, Trust Chief Executive Paul Moffat said: “This is a fantastic and well-deserved achievement for the team who all work so hard to deter children and young people from getting into a life of crime and, in turn, making our community a better place to live for everyone.

“It is, however, no surprise that their achievements should be recognised – achievements that include successes like the young girl who turned her non-attendance at school around by re-sitting her Maths and English and securing a place at Doncaster College as well as a placement at a farm.

“And the 15 year-old who, by his own admission, had difficulties committing to anything prior to the EPIC course. He then got the chance to take part in making a film, thanks to Trust partners at Doncaster Community Arts. While he said he didn’t intend having much commitment to that either, once he went along and started working on the film, he found he was really enjoying it. He was inspired and motivated and, to his own surprise, wanted to attend every session and see it through.”

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