Thirteen grassroots organisations have been awarded a share of £135,000 from a fund run by Merseyside Police Commissioner’s for projects which are working to build safer communities.
Jane Kennedy again used her Crime Prevention Fund to give a vital cash boost to community groups, charities and third sector organisations who are working to prevent crime in communities across Merseyside.
The fund, which was launched in 2015, offers grants of between £5,000 and £25,000 to support community safety projects which prevent problems from occurring by reducing the opportunities for crime, and by deterring people from becoming involved in anti-social and illegal behaviour.
More than 70 community organisations bid into the fund, with the total combined value requested amounting to more than £1.1m. Today Jane has announced the 13 successful organisations which will each receive a share of the funding to help make a difference in their communities over the next 12 months.
Jane said: “This fund recognises the really significant role local groups and third sector organisations play in identifying issues in their own communities and devising effective and often inventive approaches to tackling those problems.
“The number and quality of the bids I received demonstrates the effort invested across Merseyside to prevent and tackle crime and support vulnerable people.
“I am delighted to now be in a position to announce the 13 organisations who will benefit from a grant from the Fund. Each of the groups behind these projects showed a genuine passion for their work and a real desire to make a difference.
“These small grants can have a huge impact in the long term by helping to deter people, especially young people, from entering the criminal justice system, reducing the number of victims and thereby making our communities better places to live.
“I look forward to seeing all these projects being delivered over the next year.”
Among the successful organisations were the Royal Court Liverpool Trust who were awarded £25,000 to continue to run their hard-hitting drama Terriers. Terriers has received rave reviews from schools for helping to raise awareness among young people of the dangers of getting involved with gun and gang crime.
The Commissioner also awarded £15,000 to educational charity, Ariel Trust, to help run their ‘It’s not OK!’ project aimed at providing resources to support teachers to deliver preventative education to young people on a range of issues, including domestic, homophobic and online abuse. This year, the fund will particularly focus on raising awareness on child sexual exploitation and grooming among primary school children.
A £10,000 grant was also made to Breckfield and North Everton Neighbourhood Council (BNEC) to help them deliver their Making Waves project which delivers both outreach and centre-based services for young people living in areas of high deprivation. The funding will be used to help fund a team of specialised youth workers who will be deployed to ASB hotspot areas to engage with young people and provide a range of activities to divert them away from crime.
The funding will also be used to support Liverpool Pride’s ‘COME OUT the Shadows’ campaign which will see a host of popular landmarks lit up across the city to help build awareness of LGBT issues, promote tolerance and encourage residents to embrace and celebrate diversity.
A number of the successful projects focussed on engaging with young people, particularly those on the periphery of crime and anti-social behaviour, to divert them away from illegal behaviour and encourage them to get involved with a host of positive activities.
The Crime Prevention Fund is administered by the Community Foundation for Merseyside (CFM), an independent charity which assists grant-making and charitable giving. CFM’s Community Philanthropy Manager James Proctor said: “The high quality and range of projects we received for the fund demonstrates just how Community and Voluntary Sector organisations have such an important role to play in providing diversionary activities, safety awareness advice and services for those at risk or already involved in the criminal justice system.
“These all have a hugely positive impact on reducing crime and anti-social behaviour to support the Police. As a grant-maker, the Community Foundation for Merseyside believe funding such as this from the Police Commissioner is vital to support the great work of these community organisations”.
Organisations who applied for the funding needed to show how their project would work to tackle the objectives set out in the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan. These include tackling serious and organised crime, preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, providing a visible and accessible neighbourhood policing style, supporting victims, protecting vulnerable people and maintaining public safety.
Applications also needed to demonstrate how the initiative would deter individuals from committing crime, reduce the number of people entering the criminal justice system, or lower reoffending. They were also assessed to see how well they would protect vulnerable communities.