Initiative to empower young girls in Bradford launched
Bradford District Police along with the Goshukan Karate Academy and Project YouTurn have teamed up to deliver a workshop targeting young girls in the Bradford area.
‘On Guard’ was created by Suffia Hussain from Goshukan Karate Academy, Zafar Afsar from Project YouTurn and PC Gemma Wilkins from West Yorkshire Police.
PC Gemma Wilkins from Bradford’s Stronger Community Team said: “Project On Guard has been a fantastic way to empower young girls in the Bradford area.
“The sessions created a safe space for the young girls to talk openly about the issues that are affecting them.
“One of the girls felt confident to report a TikTok video about a pre-arranged fight at a high school, officers were able to stop the fight before it went ahead.
“Through working with partners, we hope that this early intervention can build a positive future for the next generation.”
Over the last 6 weeks the workshops have seen young girls come together to discuss real life issues affecting young people today from drug awareness to knife crime.
Each session included a scenario based self-defence class delivered by Suffia Hussain from Goshukan Karate Academy.
Hussain said: “The initiative has been so well received by both the girls and their parents with the feedback being overwhelmingly positive.
“The girls really came out of their shells, and you could see their confidence grow throughout each session.
“I am looking forward to continuing working in partnership on these much needed initiatives, in educating and creating awareness within our youth communities.”
Project YouTurn Programme manager Zafar Afsar said: “Project YouTurn has delivered over 100 workshops over the last 3 years on hard hitting subjects such as drugs, knife crime and grooming.
“We have had huge demand for female only workshops run by female facilitators.
“It was great to see the passion and drive from Gemma and Suffia and I hope we can deliver the On Guard initiative throughout the Bradford District in the future.”