A SCHEME that uses football to help youngsters in some of the most “high-need areas” looks set to go from strength to strength in 2020.

Premier League Kicks is run in conjunction with Colchester United’s Football In The Community initiative.

They have six different sites across north Essex, including Colchester, Clacton, Walton and Dovercourt.

And the free youth service engages with hundreds of youngsters each year, using the power of football to have a positive impact in young people’s lives.

“Premier League Kicks started in 2006 and has a long history of using football and the value of sports participation to help youngsters in some of the most high-need areas,” said Henry Singleton, health and inclusion development officer at the U’s.

“The programme engages participants in constructive activities, including a wide variety of sports, coaching, music and educational and personal development sessions.

“Communities up and down the country have been transformed, with impressive football and sports participation.

“Here at Colchester United Football In The Community, we have six different sites across Essex and engage with hundreds of young people each year.

“We predominantly run our sessions as free to play, hour-long football sessions.

“Alongside the football, we run a volunteer programme and enrichment sessions and recently did a presentation to our Shrub End Kicks members on Knife Crime.

“We also organise fixtures each year against other clubs, including the likes of Luton Town, West Ham, and Arsenal.”

The U’s sessions take place at The Gilberd School, from 5.30pm to 6.30pm on Tuesdays (ages 11 to 18), Clacton Leisure Centre, from 5pm until 6pm on Wednesdays (ages eight to 16), Dovercourt Bay Lifestyles, from 6.30pm until 7.30pm on Thursdays (ages 11 to 18), Greenstead Youth Club, from 6.30pm until 7.30pm on Thursdays (ages 11 to 18), Walton’s Columbine Centre, from 5.30pm until 6.30pm on Fridays (ages 11 to 18) and Shrub End Community Centre, from 8pm until 9pm on Fridays (ages 11 to 18).

To pre-book a free place, visit officialsoccerschools.co.uk/colchesterunited