800 delegates see major national award presented to the Kids Are Alright campaign

A PIONEERING campaign run by the Cambs Times and Wisbech Standard today collected a national award for helping to change the perception of young people. Our Kids Are Alright campaign beat off entries from across the UK to collect the prestigious Best Comm

A PIONEERING campaign run by the Cambs Times and Wisbech Standard today collected a national award for helping to change the perception of young people.

Our Kids Are Alright campaign beat off entries from across the UK to collect the prestigious Best Communication in Youth Justice Award.

The prize was presented in front of 800 delegates to the annual convention of the Youth Justice Board in Southport.

The Communicating Youth Justice Award is handed out annually by the YJB to youth offending services and secure establishments which demonstrate excellence in their work with the media.


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Representatives from the two youth offending services received a cut glass trophy and �100 gift voucher.

The campaign - run in conjunction with the Cambridgeshire Criminal Justice Board, Cambridgeshire County Council, Connexions, Fenland District Council, Cambridgeshire Fire Service and Cambridgeshire Youth Offending Service- has been an outstanding success.

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On line surveys, community awareness through market town events in Fenland, and a weekly feature highlighting individual successes by young people, have been part of the year long campaign.

Chief Constable Julie Spence has been a major supporter of the campaign and hoped it would "try and kill off some of the myths and perceptions among the older generation about young people - 'they're all hoodies, thugs, lawbreakers and a nuisance'.

"We also wanted to know what young people thought about the older generation, and to begin to understand what a group of teenagers - as harmless though it might be - posed a threat in the minds of those who are older and more vulnerable.

"The fact is that the majority of youth crime is committed by a tiny minority of young people. The vast majority spend their time involved in a variety of community and charity projects - many of which go unsung."

Chair of the YJB Frances Done said: "It is wonderful to see such a successful example of agencies working together to promote a positive image of young people in their local area.

"Through partnership working and by building up strong relationships with the media, the youth offending service highlighted the many positive contributions that young people make to society. I would like to congratulate the team on winning this year's award."

Editor John Elworthy said today: "We've been running the campaign since February and the massive support speaks volumes for the interest it's generated.

"You definitely get the feeling that perceptions about young people here in Fenland are changing, partly I'm sure of the profile of this campaign. It's also of note that a recent Cambridgeshire award (YOPEY) also found its winner here in the Fens.

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