"It has been of a bit of a dysfunctional ward like a lot of places, but Pollards Hill has talent, and a lot of it."

Those are the words of Met Police community support officer John Joseph, who for the past-five-and-a-half years as a Schools Officer and PCSO, has been tapping into the potential of some of the borough's most vulnerable youths.

His efforts to "bring pride and positive recognition back into his ward," as he put it, went to another level last July.

As part of a wider programme to get teenagers and young adults off the streets and onto a football pitch, where social development can take place, JJ, as he is known in and around Mitcham, took on a role with a team of under 15s with Patrick, a coach from Fulham Foundation, and called them Pollards Raising Stars.

And the results have been something to marvel at.

"We get a puzzle, which is of Pollards Hill, and it is broken down into lots of pieces and the challenge is to put it back together," JJ told the Wimbledon Times.

"Each piece is double sided, community on one side and young people on the other.

"We are trying to connect the young people together and by doing that aiming to piece together the wider community."

JJ says the whole concept is to try and help these youths develop better social skills. This is done by teaching them leadership qualities, teamwork, how to communicate effectively and above all else, good decision making.

This system seems to have paid off for the group as well. In their inaugural season in the Epsom and Ewell Youth Premier Football League, they reached the cup final.

Mitcham and Morden MP Siobhain McDonagh was there on the day and said the group did Pollards Hill proud.

"I am so proud of the Raising Stars team," she said.

"With supporters from across Pollards Hill cheering the team on, the boys put in a magnificent performance and their behaviour, team work and attitude were a credit to our community.

"Thanks to United Living for so generously sponsoring the team coach, Commonside Trust for providing a hearty breakfast, and to PCSO John Joseph for his tireless leadership and deciation to our community."

But it isn't all just about having a kick around with your mates on a Saturday.

"They’ve built relationships which never would have come about otherwise," JJ added.

"They truly support each other and see themselves as a unit.

"An example of this was when a squad member was running late and not home at a certain time. A mum has used the Whatsapp group to ask where he is, and we can put out the feelers to the young man.

"Then when we meet, the kids talk to the young man and give him some food for thought about showing respect for parents and not being late, especially in this climate of knife crime."

But despite the ups and downs, JJ and Patrick couldn't be prouder of "their boys," and hopes this sparks something inside them moving forward.

"They have been exemplary both on and off the pitch, and to get them to recognise their potential, that’s the goal," JJ said.

"True success is all about getting our boys on a positive path of their choice and knowing that they have the skills and confidence in their locker to drive and achieve their aspirations,” .

"We want the ward to realise what talent there is in this community, and we want the borough to see that Pollards Hill is an amazing place with some amazing youths."