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Ely Arson Team signs City duo
A front line anti arson team based in the Ely area of Cardiff has pulled off the swoop of the season by acquiring two Cardiff City Football superstars to help engage with local youngsters and break down the barriers between young people and emergency services.
City mid-fielders Willo Flood and Jo Ledley joined members of the Ely Arson Reduction Team and a crowd of Ely youngsters at a special Question and Answer session at Trelai Youth Centre this week (28th February) to mark the culmination of a football coaching course that has been running since last summer.
The course has been run by the Ely Arson Reduction Team (ART) – a group made up representatives of the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service and South Wales Police. The Team’s remit is to tackle the causes of arson head on and force down the cost of the damage it causes to communities in Wales.
The ART joined forces with Cardiff Council Youth Services and Cardiff City Football Club to run the course, which is open to local youth centre members, aged between 10 and 17. Coaching the youngsters at the brand new sports complex in Trelai Youth Centre, were Ely Arson Team members Paul Briscombe (seconded from the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service) and Dean Jones (seconded from the South Wales Police), assisted by the Cardiff City Football community coaches.
Both Paul and Dean (both keen sportsmen) have taken every opportunity to get the anti-arson message across whilst enjoying the football and the results seem to be impressive.
“By this and other interactions with the community - especially the younger element of our community - we have contributed to a large fall in the number of fires in the area” said Dean.
“"When we first started the course the numbers were very few. This soon increased and a great trust has been built up between the boys and the ART team. At the start of the course some of the boys couldn't pass or kick the ball properly, but now I’ve seen a massive improvement in their skill level and their attitude. The course has been really worthwhile and we are now regarded as friends and not as authority figures. We hope that the young people on the course will now spread the anti arson message to their peers”, he added.
Two of the young people who have been participating in the course are Daniel Imperato and Mitchell Facey
“We have be been told by Paul and Dean that we must never commit arson, and make sure that the people you hang around with don’t commit one as well. The reason we like going down to play football, is that Paul and Dean are good coaches to work with, and also they are very kind and friendly at all times. It keeps us occupied, and keeps us off the streets”, they said.
As a thank you for the youngsters for their co-operation on the course, a special training and Question and Answer evening was held with the two Cardiff City first team players.
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Canllaw Hygyrchedd a Iaith
Tudalen Wedi Ei Diweddaru Ar 23/7/2008