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Published December 20, 2023

Foundation launch DIVERT programme

Ipswich Town Foundation is pleased to announce a new programme called DIVERT.

Funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk, the programme will see the Foundation work in partnership with Suffolk Constabulary to actively engage with and raise aspirations of young people aged 13-17 years old in Ipswich that are on the periphery of, or entrenched in, serious youth violence.

The launch of this new initiative acts on an increased need for targeted and bespoke interventions in Ipswich in response to serious violence and gang activity in the town.

“I have seen at first-hand the positive impact that being involved in sport has on young people, so I am delighted to financially support the DIVERT programme through a Crime and Disorder Reduction Grant,” Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner has said.

“The project offers young people on the periphery or vulnerable to gang activity, a positive alternative to crime and violence. It gives them an opportunity to raise aspirations, develop tangible skills, develop confidence and increase employability. It is a chance to set them on the right path to be a good citizen and make a positive contribution to Suffolk.

“All too often young people make a wrong choice as teenagers and this limits their choices in the future. By showing the young people how to make positive life choices it is hoped that they will become good citizens and develop leadership qualities that will help them to become more confident and principled adults.”

The programme will involve three cohorts of twelve young people undertaking 10 weeks of bespoke workshops, delivered by Foundation staff alongside Suffolk Police.

The sessions will be aimed at reducing reoffending, raising aspirations, enhancing skills and improving employability, with workshops covering a range of topics from CV writing to knife crime and county lines.

The programme also includes an hour of physical activity on the practice pitch at Portman Road after each workshop.

A whole public response is vital to tackling all types of crime and anti-social behaviour, but especially when it involves juveniles,” Superintendent Andrew Martin of Suffolk Police has added.

The DIVERT programme from Ipswich Town Foundation is an invaluable community-based offering from a key stakeholder in Ipswich. Their approach as a third party offers a chance for young people to engage with a service outside of a public offering in an informal and differing environment.

We have worked incredibly closely with the Foundation to help shape delivery to ensure access to the programme for those who will most benefit, and ultimately this programme creates an opportunity for those involved to build a better and alternative future. These services are vital to early intervention and diversion.

The DIVERT programme becomes the latest addition to an increasingly diverse provision, as the Foundation works towards its long-term goal of impacting 150,000 participants by the Club’s 150-year anniversary in 2028.

“We’re very grateful to Mr Passmore and his team for funding our DIVERT programme,” Director of Foundation Dan Palfrey has said.

We’ve already seen in the first few weeks of delivery the impact this programme is having on these young people. 

“As a Foundation, this is a big step for us, to be diversifying into this side of delivery. We want to be there for the local community’s needs, and our aim of DIVERT is to help these young people realise that they can make positive life choices and in turn make a positive contribution to society.”

For more information on the DIVERT programme, please contact Health & Wellbeing Manager Leanne Smith at