Friday, February 15, 2008
Grimsby, Lincolnshire: Debbie and Steve Hall
Debbie, 43, of Laceby Road, Grimsby, Lincolnshire, explains: 'Kids used to hang about in gangs and terrorise the neighbourhood, just because there was nothing else to do.
'So we hired a church hall and every week put on a disco for the local youths. We went on to teach a dance class and held bingo nights - and our project is still growing.
'We've taken kids who had gone down the wrong path and set them straight again. It is heart-warming to see.'
Now four years on they have secured funding for a state-of-the-art youth centre with an indoor play area, arcade and Laser Quest arena.
But despite their best efforts, Debbie and Steve are now the subjects of a frightening hate campaign, with some of the perpetrators being the same teens who used to attend their club nights.
Debbie says: 'Our car windows have been smashed, out house vandalised and I've been physically and verbally attacked.
When I report it, my family is targeted again. But we won't give up.
'It's easy to blame the authorities but I believe that to respect others you have to respect yourself and that's what Steve and I try to teach the kids at the youth club.
People have the passion to make things better but they're either too scared or don't know how to use it. I'm joining Mums' Army because I will never stop fighting for a better community.'
Tel: 07789 781162