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Monday 19 October 2015, 1:43 PM

Are you interested in supporting young people and do you have a few hours to spare each month?  If you’ve answered ‘Yes’ the Aston Project needs you!

The Aston Project is an innovative, police led project which aims to engage young people between the ages of 9-17 in fun and constructive activities.  Its purpose is to inspire youngsters to reach their full potential, making the most of opportunities open to them in a positive and rewarding environment and avoid getting drawn into drugs, anti-social behaviour and low level crime.

The project works with other local partners and community groups including Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, Forest of Dean District Council, Two Rivers Housing, Gloucester City Homes, Youth Support Team and local educational establishments.

The youngsters take part in a variety of activities which earn them credits that build towards a reward activity of their choice.  The credit scoring activities fall broadly into four categories:

  • Community
  • Discipline
  • Character/team building
  • Vocational

The project was set up in Cheltenham in 2011 in memory of neighbourhood Police Officer Lynn Aston who worked for many years from the Hester’s Way station.  Lynn was heavily involved in and committed to local youth work.   Earlier this year the project expanded into Gloucester and Newent with plans to roll it out across other areas of the county.  It is co-ordinated by five full-time members of staff, PCSO Morag Gordon, PCSO Rachel Hopton, PCSO Mark Jones, PCSO Trevor May and PCSO Sandra Jones.

The Aston Project is now taking the exciting step of recruiting volunteers to use their skills, interests and passions for the benefit the youngsters engaged in the project.  All sorts of interests are welcome from outdoor and sporting activities to creative or craft activities.  Your support really can change lives and make a difference to a young person; while giving something back to your community as a volunteer can enhance your life too.

To become a volunteer, applicants will need to complete the following:

  • A short online application
  • An application for DBS check (FREE of charge)
  • GCSB approved ‘Safeguarding Children’ online training (FREE of charge)

The project will welcome and assist volunteers during the application process and provide a point of contact and support throughout all subsequent volunteering activity.

If you are interested in offering your time to support the Aston Project we would be very happy to hear from you.

You can complete the online application form via the link found at www.theastonproject.co.uk under the ‘Support Us’ tab or get in touch for further information using the contact details below:

01242 276251 Email: astonproject@gloucestershire.police.uk