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NEW BURNFOOT YOUTH INITIATIVE

Teviotdale Leisure Centre. Image: Jim Barton.

Police in the Scottish Borders are working with charity Live Borders on a new initiative for young people living in the Burnfoot area of Hawick aimed at supporting their well-being.

It is hoped that the new monthly Borders Blue Zone scheme at the Teviotdale Leisure Centre will encourage youngsters to take part in social activities and build relationships in a safe environment.

They will have access to the gym with an instructor, there will be pool activities, sports such as table tennis and five-a-side football, screens for gaming and a cafe. Non-uniformed police officers will be attending to provide support and information.

The event, put in place thanks to £7,000 from the Scottish Borders Police community fund, will be held monthly on a Friday evening from 6 December from 7pm to 9.45pm for six months with partners hoping that it can be extended beyond that.

Chief Inspector Stuart Reid, Area Commander for the Scottish Borders, said: “We are always keen to support our local communities and this initiative aims to give young people in the Burnfoot area of Hawick access to a safe place on a Friday evening. Sport has always been part of my life and I believe that activities like this are important for the physical and mental well-being of young people. Providing facilities for them and a point where they can access information is an important part of the community work that we do in the Burnfoot area and the wider region. We are pleased to be able to work with Live Borders on this partnership initiative. It gives us the opportunity to address a number of issues. We have already reduced anti-social behaviour in the Borders by 6.9% over the last year. If this six month programme is judged to be successful I hope that it can be extended in the future.”

Lynne Lauder, Area Manager from Live Borders, said “We are looking forward to welcoming the Borders Blue Zone to Teviotdale Leisure Centre and working with young people from the area and Police Scotland. This is an exciting programme and gives us and Police Scotland an opportunity to engage with young people in a different environment than we may do usually.”