An officer who has dedicated his spare time to helping set up and run football sessions for teenagers in Hinckley has been recognised for his efforts by the Premier League.
PC Darren Measures, who has been neighbourhood officer in the area for around three years, has been honoured with the ‘Leicester City in the Community Kicks Facilitator Award’ as part of the Premier League Charitable Fund 10 Year Anniversary Awards.
Kicks – a national programme funded by the Premier League Community Fund aims to engage young people in positive and constructive activities in their community through the use of sport.
Across Leicester and Leicestershire sessions are delivered by Leicester City in the Community.
Since the programme began in Hinckley in 2018 Darren has played a vital role in helping to organise and run activities and has become a familiar face to the 50 to 70 teenagers who take part on Monday nights – helping to strengthen the police’s relationship with young people in the local community.
Match played between teams from two Kicks group in 2019. Image obtained from Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council.
Although Darren hasn’t been able to be at the sessions since the outbreak of the coronavirus earlier this year, he has continued to support the programme and the young people taking part.
PC Darren Measures said: “I am very honoured to receive this award, the Premier League Kicks programme is a very rewarding project.
“I thoroughly enjoy working with the young people that attend these sessions but I would like to say a big thank you to Leicester City in the Community coaches and staff who have been the catalyst that draws the young the people to the project.
“Once at the sessions we can engage with the young people, provide support and help build positive relationships that will hopefully help to divert them away from antisocial behaviour and crime.
“This is a fantastic incentive for the young people to come and socialise in a safe environment, to learn new skills but at the same time have fun and play football.”
Dan Mitchinson, Community Engagement Manager at Leicester City in the Community added:
“Darren’s support has been invaluable in helping us to shape and deliver our Premier League Kicks offer in the Hinckley area.
“His passion and enthusiasm for engaging and developing young people has been key to supporting young people with some of the societal challenges that they face and to improve community safety.
“Darren regularly attends sessions in Hinckley which engage between 50 and 70 young people each week, providing them with a safe space and a method to engage with the police on their level.
“Darren also works tirelessly in the background with other key partners such as the Community Safety Partnership and local authority, championing the programme, the opportunities and the impact that the programme provides locally.
“It has been a genuine pleasure to work with Darren over the past 12 months and this award is just a small token of our appreciation for his efforts.”