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Merseyside Police has teamed up with Sports Traider, to open two new shops in Merseyside.
Sports Traider, Britain’s first chain of charity sports shops, has opened its doors in Bootle Strand and Pyramids Shopping Centre, Birkenhead.
The shops are managed by paid staff who are assisted by young volunteers to gain confidence, self-esteem and retail skills – in some case, giving them a chance to move away from a criminal exploitation. These two new shops have been opened with the help of Merseyside Police.
Organised criminal groups prey on young and vulnerable people to do their dirty work, whether that’s through County Lines drug dealing or other criminal activity – this programme is one of many Project Medusa is supporting, to help young people who many be facing some challenges in their lives to, be given an opportunity.
Inside the shops, shoppers can find new, branded sportswear from the likes of Kickers, Ellesse and Regatta, all priced at £5 or less. Profits from sales go back into the local community to support local sports and participation projects community projects.
Lance Haggith, founder of Sports Traider and former unsung hero at the BBC Sports Personality Awards, said: “We are delighted to be working with Merseyside Police to open two brand new Sports Traider shops in Merseyside.
"We will be working to provide sports participation and employment opportunities to young people in the communities of Bootle and Birkenhead and we would like to thank everyone for the support we have received already."
Detective Superintendent Andy O'Connor said: "We are proud to partner with Sports Traider to open these two new shops, the first of their kind in Merseyside.
“We share the same vision as the charity, in that we want young people who may be facing some challenges in their life to be given an opportunity.
“These shops not only allow people to get some real work experience and get a skill behind them, but also give them the opportunity to gain some self-esteem, make new friends and in some cases, it gives them the chance to make a different decision in their life, which we hope will lead them along a better path.”
A spokesperson from Tranmere Rovers said: "Tranmere rovers are aware of the fantastic work Sports Traider do for young people. We are delighted they are now going to be operating from the Wirral. We are looking forward to developing a positive delivery focused partnership."