An initiative created just over a year ago to increase youth provision in Cranleigh and help reduce anti-social behaviour has been recognised at a county level. Cranleigh Friday Night Project has been awarded the Saputo Dairy UK Active Community Project of the Year, in the Active Surrey awards.
The Award was presented at Cranleigh Leisure Centre on Friday, 28 February by Saputo Dairy UK, whose community outreach objective is to promote healthy lifestyle habits.
The Active Surrey Awards are designed to celebrate projects or individuals who help and inspire others to move more through physical activity or sport.
An independent panel of judges has decided that the project deserves to be recognised for the strides it has made in engaging young people of secondary school age, providing an outlet for them to get more active within a safe and welcoming environment.
Across the county, only 51% of teenage pupils meet the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines which recommend an average of 60 minutes’ physical activity per day. Young people are becoming increasing sedentary and are taking these bad habits into adulthood, affordable alternatives to keep them busy outside the home aren’t always available.
The Cranleigh Friday Night Project helps combat this problem, winning the title of ‘best in Surrey’ for the broad impact it has had in the community. Over 25 volunteers help provide ‘drop in’ sessions at Cranleigh Leisure Centre for those aged 11-18, with around 350 young people registered to take part. Most of them would simply not get the opportunity to try activities at such an affordable rate (under £4), which include squash, table tennis, workout classes, virtual cycling, access to the gym and more.
Tom Crowe, Assistant Leisure Development Officer at Waverley Borough Council who helped establish the scheme was pleased to see the community’s efforts rewarded: “It’s amazing to hear that the Friday Night Project has won Saputo Dairy UK’s Community Project of the Year. Since its launch in November 2018 the Project has gone from strength to strength and exceeded all expectation. This is testament to the whole team involved and I would like to thank Places Leisure, Cranleigh Parish Council, the volunteer group and all the participants for their hard work.”
Lil Dugan, Interim Director for Active Surrey who organise the county-wide Awards said: “The Cranleigh Friday Night Project showcases the broader impact such projects can have in the local community. This project has gone beyond just providing a place for young people to play sport. It has connected the community from all backgrounds and supports the physical and mental wellbeing of the participants.
“Whatever our age, being a little more active is something we can all do to help our health and live life to the full.”