Estate teams up to kick out crime

9th december 2011'Macronstore managing director giving a free football kit to residents from the Smirthwaite estate who have set up a football team as part of their battle to clean up the estate. They are now working with the probation service to work with ex-convicts living on the estate to help turn their lives around.'Pictured L/R: Jack North, Mathew Wilkinson, Andrew McNeil MD of Macronstore and George Hall.''PICTURE: MATTHEW PAGE
9th december 2011'Macronstore managing director giving a free football kit to residents from the Smirthwaite estate who have set up a football team as part of their battle to clean up the estate. They are now working with the probation service to work with ex-convicts living on the estate to help turn their lives around.'Pictured L/R: Jack North, Mathew Wilkinson, Andrew McNeil MD of Macronstore and George Hall.''PICTURE: MATTHEW PAGE
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A COMMUNITY group is teaming up with businesses to clean up an estate and help get unemployed residents back in to work.

During the past six months the 300-strong Park Green Community Group has cleared rubbish and tidied the Smirthwaite Estate in Normanton.

Members have also secured more than £5,000 in funding to help with their Educate to Employ programmes.

Money from Wakefield and District Housing (WDH), which owns the properties, NHS, Co-op and Coalfields Regeneration Trust will be used to provide around 40 unemployed people with qualifications in first aid, food hygiene and electronics.

It will give less privileged residents and ex-offenders an opportunity to boost their CVs.

And the group has now set up a football team to raise morale and reduce crime on the estate.

Community group chairman George Hall said: “It is about getting them engaged and keeping anti-social behaviour down. We are hoping to get some more funding to send some of them on coaching courses so we can then help the younger ones on the estate.

“The community group has taken off in a big way and if we get one person back into employment then we have achieved our aim.”

The Normanton Park Green Community Football project has had a kit donated by Normanton-based supplier Macronstore Wakefield.

Around 18 residents, aged between 16 and 30, and from different ethnic backgrounds, practice in a nearby park, but will be entering a six-a-side tournament in March.