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    Sovereign Housing Association have held mediation sessions which have managed to solve long-running anti-social behaviour issues on a Newbury estate.

    Tentants of the Cromwell Road estate have reported that children on the estate were jumping into gardens, damaging property, kicking footballs at cars and windows whilst also shouting abuse.

    Even though Sovereign, the police and community agencies tried to approach the problems, the situation grew worse, reports 24dash.Teamwork Concept

    The housing provider then formed a partnership with West Berkshire Council youth services and the independendent mediation service Resolve, which lead to two “Speakout” events.

    The first event was held for the young people causing the problems and they were encouraged to think about why they behaved as they did and how their behaviour affected others and to express how they felt about what was happening.

    The second event was held for adults at which parents and neighbours put forward their views on the situation and explained how they felt and how they wish others would behave towards them.

    Sovereign is now working to provide more equipment in a play area, increase the amount of off-road parking and provide opportunities to get together and have fun.

    Drop-in sessions for tenants are now held once a month and activities for young people are also being run, with Sovereign giving financial to families who wouldn’t be able to take part otherwise.

    Sovereign’s housing officer, Norma Maggs, said: “Anti-social behaviour has dropped considerably since we got hold of the issue. We’ve avoided the possibility of tenancy enforcement action, and Jodie and I can spend our time working on other things. The parents realised we wanted to help, and they keep a better watch on their kids in return; there’s a mutual trust in place. If a child kicks a ball into someone’s garden now, they knock and politely ask for it back.”

    Valerie Church, a resident of Cromwell Road, said: “Things have improved; there are no problems now. It’s much more settled, we don’t jump at every sound, whereas we could never really relax before. People are more sociable too, they say hello to each other. We know we can approach the parents if there’s a problem, explain what’s happened and they will deal with it.”

    Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1382435

    September 18, 2013 by Laura Matthews Categories: Community And Localism

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