Canon Medical Systems are working in association with the professional basketball team Sheffield Sharks to deliver a unique programme called ‘RESPECT’ which focuses on improving the avenues for young people to break away from a cycle of disadvantage, giving hope and confidence, plus practical skills to better opportunities in life.Secondary school exclusion rates in the Sheffield area, including Rotherham and Barnsley, are some of the highest in the UK. Each year thousands of children are asked to leave mainstream schools due to behavioural issues that impact on teachers and the learning of other pupils. It is a last resort for schools, but a growing problem.The RESPECT programme provides workshops to schools to educate on respect issues such as cyber-bullying, bullying, health and fitness. The community links also promote getting involved in team sports, such as basketball, to channel energies in a constructive way.

“The ethos of the RESPECT programme is to encourage participation in physical activity such as basketball; to promote an understanding of the need for community values; and to help young people stay safe using technology such as the Internet. The sessions are run with Year 5 primary school children, the age that criminal responsibility starts, and aims to openly discuss making the right choices in life.”Joel Mills, Operations Manager and RESPECT Programme Leader at DBL Sharks Sheffield Basketball Club

“The RESPECT programme delivered by Sheffield Sharks is about striving for the greater good. It mirrors our own Japanese business culture and the philosophy behind our long-standing ‘Made for Life’ vision of building relationships that rely on trust, respect and transparency to improve life for all. We are proud to see the positive impacts that the RESPECT scheme is having on local children, families and the wider community.”Mark Hitchman, Managing Director of Canon Medical Systems UK

“The Sheffield Sharks RESPECT programme has been so important to our school over many years. It complements our own PSCHE curriculum and safeguarding topics perfectly, covering bullying, online safety, crime plus fire and safety. Delivery of the sessions is unique and our pre-teen pupils sit up and take notice – you can see their interest and engagement rise during the sessions.”

Mandy Fenech, Safeguarding Officer at Arbourthorne Community Primary School