The story of what can happen when young people form a new relationship with Police

The Fact Find

  • Community Hub: TR14ers

  • Location: Camborne, Cornwall

  • Residents: xxx

  • Strategic partners: Eden Project, Carnegie Institute, NHS, Police, Education. Council of Europe, C2 Connecting Communities, University of Exeter.

  • Patrons: HRH Duchess of Gloucester, Hazel Stuteley OBE

  • Date 7-Steps began: 2005

Named by young people 

TR14ers, named by the young residents after their post-code, is a youth led Community Dance Charity based in Camborne, Cornwall. It was originally set up in 2005 when the Camborne Neighbourhood Police Team, looking for new ways to reduce youth related anti-social behaviour (ASB), undertook the first ever Connecting Communities (C2) programme, developed by frontline health practitioners at Exeter University.

Two thousand youngsters

During a C2 Listening Event the young people stated clearly there was nothing positive for them to do and that they’d love to learn street dance. The Police worked with them to set up workshops resulting in transformative outcomes in terms of health, increased educational attainment and reduced ASB and over ensuing years, when the Police stepped back, TR14ers evolved into a self-managing charity. Over a decade on the young people have survived many challenges, displaying immense resilience and it’s estimated to have benefitted over 2 thousand youngsters since it began. They have also inspired other equally challenged young people in communities across the UK to start their own dance groups as part of the C2 programme. However since the economic downturn and widespread cutbacks a severe lack of funding has meant that this extraordinary dance charity has come very close to closure. Only the incredible will of the young people, teachers and volunteers has just about kept them afloat.

Each week free dance sessions are held on a Friday evening from 4.30pm until 7.30pm.  Each session attracts up to 60 young people ranging from 5 to 21yr olds.  What is unique about TR14ers is that the young people self-organise themselves to lead the dance sessions.  The young self selecting Dance Leaders are trained and taught how to deliver dance sessions and given time and space to choreograph their own routines.  They then take turns to teach a huge room of young people ranging massively in dance ability.

Understanding Health Creation…..

To see this in action is incredible and a great example of what we now understand to be ‘health creation.’  It’s one thing for dance sessions to be run by professional dance teachers and something else, much more powerful to watch a young person teaching, holding attention and inspiring up to 60 young people who are their peers.  Every week this happens in an area formerly better known for its ASB, drink and drugs than anything positive.  Realistically these young people have a daily negative influence from peers and families but they choose to stay focused and driven.  They choose to come to TR14ers every Friday night and be in a safe, positive and empowering environment.  Possibly the reason for this is that half of the Board of Trustees are young Dance Leaders that teach at the sessions.  As charity directors they learn new skills, have ownership and a credible voice.

Since 2016 the charity has placed huge emphasis on empowering the young leaders to start gaining even more recognition for what they do and to receive a national award, as community health creators would be hugely defining and motivating for them in these challenging times.

TR14ers makes a difference to Camborne because it enables young people to really believe that they can achieve anything they put their mind to and strive for their goals.  They are treated with respect and listened to.  They are valued. This instils in them hope as well as positive life skills.  Many of the TR14ers have accessed Higher Education leading to a fantastic range of employment opportunities. Many others have successfully raised families and so are role models for a new generation. They are the perfect example of  behaviour change at many levels where that pivotal change in the way that the Police responded back in 2004, ie listening to what young people actually wanted, then working with them as equals to achieve this, has brought large scale, continuous improvement in health & social well being for many hundreds of young people since 2005. The fact that this is still happening and still provided free for every dancer, every Friday in a town in Cornwall within 10% of the most deprived areas in the country, is pretty awesome!!

Read the University of Exeter research paper to understand the sustainable processes and impact of TR14ers

FEEDBACK FROM SOME OF THE TR14 ERS

TR’s means a lot to me because I haven’t been at TRs long and ever since I’ve joined my life has been so much better. TR’s has helped me in my confidence issues and helped me stay out of trouble. I have friends at TRs that I didn’t know nearly a year ago and now I feel like I can tell them anything


Emily, aged 13, Resident
TRs mean a lot to me.  TRs have impacted my life a lot.  If it wasn’t for TRs I wouldn’t of had such great opportunities. I think that TRs has helped me with my confidence and ability. TRs have made me more confident so helped me to make really good connections with my peers Xx is that alright?


Bea, aged 13, Resident

TRs is basically my safe haven… It’s where I can share my troubles with others, it’s the thing that I always look forward to every week. It’s definitely impacted my life because when I joined a few years ago I was a timid little girl with confidence issues. However, this charity had enabled me to be ambitious and gave me a social and healthy lifestyle. Everyone there is like my second family, and I’ve made so many amazing memories with them.


Tia, aged 14, Resident