Oarsome Chance were very happy to welcome the Hampshire Police & Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones, who visited our Gosport centre on Sat 22 Jan. The Office for the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) has provided funding to OC, via the Safer Communities Fund, which has been helping us provide our extended support to vulnerable young people.
We were also joined by local MPs Dame Caroline Dinenage and Flick Drummond, and Donna was accompanied by Cllr Trevor Norton. Our guests were able to meet some of our young people who come along to OC on a Saturday, a project that has been supported by the OPCC funding, which provides them with some purposeful activity at the weekend, in a safe space.
Our Chair of Trustees, Graham, CEO Paul and Principal John were on hand to explain more about OC’s background and the work we are doing, along with some insight on the triumphs and challenges involved. While OC team members Martin and Dan kept the students busy with their usual Saturday activities (this week washing down our hard working vehicles). Helping to show our guests around and giving them a good understanding of how OC’s work makes a difference for our young people, was our apprentice Adam, who made a great impression with his honesty, knowledge and enthusiasm. He made a fantastic ambassador!
We were also joined by local Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) Gemma Broster and Sarah Hughes. Gemma and Sarah were very patient with our students (who enjoyed modelling their police hats!). They were also able to give Donna an account of the difference they have seen with young people they know who have benefitted from coming to OC. As well as reiterating the very limited options in local provisions for young people who are at risk because of long term exclusion from school.
It was a very useful morning, with all present sharing information that will no doubt lead to more collaboration, as we all work towards the same goal of reducing youth offending.
Donna has said of her visit: “What an honour to visit the team at Oarsome Chance (OC) in Gosport with Caroline Dinenage MP, Flick Drummond MP and Cllr Terry Norton. OC work with young people who have been excluded from school, young people who are often in trouble with the police and need some support and guidance. I’m pleased to fund this charity to help pay for programmes.”
Big thanks to everyone involved.