December 10 2013 Latest news:
By Lucy Wright
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Bases are being set up across south Norfolk this Halloween in a bid to stop anti-social behaviour.
Six teams of volunteers will be setting up stands and handing out free hot dogs and hot chocolate to youngsters in Long Stratton, Diss, Harleston, Wymondham, Loddon and Poringland tonight.
Organised by Sarah Woodger, a mother-of-two who lives in Langley, near Loddon, the event will give teenagers and young people somewhere safe to go where they will be given snacks.
Mrs Woodger said the idea complemented police street patrols on Halloween.
“Instead of patrolling to make sure people feel reassured, I thought we should make young people feel valued and accepted. We hope it will reduce anti-social behaviour,” she said.
“It’s a chance for them to be recognised, it will be good for them.”
Mrs Woodger said the scheme was successful last year, particularly in Harleston when there police did not receive a single complaint about anti-social behaviour.
“We had a lot of help from the police and the local councillors,” she added. “They walked around the streets and put a table up outside their house on Exchange Street.
“They served 50 hot dogs within the first half hour and then they spent the next two hours handing out hot drinks.”
This year, teams will set up stations at the Anglican Church in Diss, Exchange Street in Harleston, the methodist church in Long Stratton, Poringland Village Hall, Church Plain in Loddon and Wymondham Youth Bus will be parked on Browick Road in the town.
Each station will be manned by a team of volunteers.
“The young people engage in conversation,” Mrs Woodger added. “Barriers can be broken down. We want to encourage tolerance and mutual respect.”
Mrs Woodger is also appealing for volunteers and local councillors to get involved.
Contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07891 265800