Art shows youngsters a future free of crime
YOUNG offenders have been inspired by an art course designed to keep them out of trouble.
Youngsters who have got on the wrong side of the law say they no longer see crime as a way of getting through life, after spending three weeks with Youth Offending Service's (YOS) summer art project.
Eleven young people – many of whom are not in education – have spent half their summer at the workshop run by North East Lincolnshire Council's YOS, which culminated in them designing their own T-Shirts.
They also made a film about substance misuse – focusing in on M-Cat.
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Their hard work was rewarded at a presentation ceremony at the Parkway Cinema in Cleethorpes.
Youth offending services manager Matt Clayton said: "Many of the young people we work with might have been disengaged from mainstream education, which makes the project quite a challenge.
"But, despite this, it is amazing how quickly the young people become interested.
"It has interested them, it is something they perhaps didn't get at school and it gives them freedom to explore. We are really proud of them all.
"This workshop gives them more confidence which is a real issue for a lot of them.
We obviously teach them about the effect their actions have had on the community or the victim but giving them self-confidence and that sense of achievement are two factors that are proven to stop or reduce re-offending."
The focus of the project – which has secured funding for another two years – was heroes and heroines which they had to research before producing a themed T-shirt.
Some chose rappers like Snoop Dog and Eminem while others went for artists such as Van Gogh and Andy Warhol.
Saul Glasspool, 15, of Grimsby, was expelled from school but is restarting at another in September and, for the first time in his life, is looking forward to it.
He said: "The workshop has taught me how to work with people better and taught me how to ask for help when I need it which I couldn't do before.
"At school I wasn't a good kid and was expelled last year. This has taught me to try my best and now I can't wait to go back. I miss it and I never thought I'd say that."
Joe Russell, 15, of Grimsby, has been arrested numerous times but impressed project leaders with his funky Van Gogh- inspired T-Shirt which had a graffiti-styled ear with the words 'Listen Up' underneath.
He said: "I have enjoyed the workshop. It has made me realise that you don't have to be naughty just to get through life and that if you behave well you can get positive things out of life."
Saul's mum Debbie Appleby said: "It has done him good and he's enjoyed going."