Nearly £37,000 has been awarded to crime-fighting charities and organisations to help them make a difference in their community, thanks to Merseyside’s Police Commissioner.
Jane Kennedy has selected 24 community and voluntary organisations that will benefit from the first round of funding released from her Police Property Act Fund.
The money will go towards vital community projects, including initiatives to support survivors of domestic violence, educate young girls on sexual violence and increase young people’s self-esteem. It will also go towards funding a youth worker at the Norris Green Youth Centre, a project to reduce anti-social behaviour in St Helens and promoting cultural diversity on the Wirral.
Jane Kennedy said: "I am delighted to have approved the first set of grants from my fund.
"This money will be used to make a real difference to the lives of people across Merseyside, by supporting projects which help to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, support victims of crime and make our communities better places to live.
"I was impressed not only by the range and diversity within the applications, but also the passion and enthusiasm which shone through from those projects. I am thrilled to be helping them continue the great work they do on a day-to-day basis and over the coming weeks I am really looking forward to see these groups in action.
"These projects are just the first I will be supporting. I have already announced the second round of funding from my Police Property Act Fund which is now available for other charities and groups who are committed to improving community safety, reducing crime or supporting victims.”
The fund is administered for the Commissioner by the Community Foundation for Merseyside (CFM), which gives individuals and organisations the opportunity to give to deserving causes in Merseyside and Lancashire.
The Community Foundation for Merseyside’s philanthropy manager James Proctor said: “We are proud to be working with Merseyside’s Police Commissioner and administering the Police Property Act fund. For further information on the Community Foundation please visit our website www.cfmerseyside.org.uk.”
Merseyside Polonia works to highlight domestic violence in the Polish Community. Reports of domestic violence to the police have increased, but the organisation is aware many cases remain unreported and support services are not often accessed. Merseyside Polonia works to raise awareness of domestic violence, emphasising that it can affect both men and women and does not only relate to physical violence.
The organisation has developed the motto: “Nie każdą przemoc można zobaczyć, ale o każdej możesz porozmawiać” or “Not every abuse you can see, but you can discuss any of them”, to bring abuse into the public spotlight.
With funding from the Commissioner, their aim is to challenge some of the myths surrounding domestic violence and help victims realise what support is available.
Sefton and Liverpool Women in Business
Sefton and Liverpool Women in Business will use the Commissioner’s grant to help deliver a course on domestic violence to girls and young women. The organisation is already working with girls from Enterprise South Liverpool Academy, who have shown an immediate interest and a genuine desire to talk openly about an issue that has plagued women for many generations and which has been kept largely quiet. The funding will go a long way to breaking down the silence within our communities.
South Liverpool Domestic Abuse Services
South Liverpool Domestic Abuse Services run a six-week course to raise awareness of domestic violence and abuse for women from ethnic minority groups. The course is called ‘The Happy Home’ and focuses on healthy and unhealthy relationships, harmful practices such as ‘honour-based’ violence, female genital mutilation and forced marriage.
SLDAS helps victims understand where they can go for support and raises awareness of their legal right in the UK. The current course they run is for women from Sri Lanka and surrounding countries.
The Ykids Redi Project
The Ykids Redi project is an informal education and mentoring project for children and young people aged 7 to 17 living in Bootle. Their initiatives include a 'stir it up' cooking project, 'the beat goes on' a music project, Redi 'Boot camp' an exercise project and Redi 'Christmas Cracker' an arts and crafts scheme.
Redi also operates five groups a week for young people aged 14-17 which focus on having fun and building confidence and self-esteem in a safe environment. One youngster said: "I used to be so shy but I'm now confident enough to talk to people and it's all because of Redi."
The other successful projects were:
Kinship Carers received £1,000 to help support their work using complimentary therapy sessions to engage with ‘hard to reach’ families.
Liverpool ADHD Foundation Ltd will use their £1,000 grant to help fund their work tackling ADHD-related mental health problems and its link to offending.
A £2,000 grant will help the Norris Green Youth Centre employ a sessional youth work who will provide a project called ‘Alternatives to Violence’.
Speke Children's Environment Committee will use their £2,000 grant to help improve the neighbourhood and reduce the amount of anti-social behaviour.
St Helens Home Watch will use £794 allocated from the Commissioner’s fund to buy purse snatch chains and purse bells for elderly, vulnerable and economically deprived people in the area.
Under Construction Crew will be offering 12 “Theatre in Education Pieces” in schools with their £4,000 grant aimed at reducing anti-social behaviour, tackling hate crime and serious and organised crime. After the performance, the pupils will take part in workshops to create a video that will be used to educate other pupils and create a legacy of work. This will include developing posters and joint activities with the police.
Wirral Cultural Diversity Group will be using their £500 allocation to improve understanding and cultural heritage of the diverse communities in the area.
A grant of £700 was used by the Woodchurch Partnership to fund a number of initiatives to prevent and reduce anti-social behaviour up to and around Bonfire Night.
Daisy UK CiC will use their £1,000 grant to continue to deliver disability hate crime awareness training to schools, colleges and universities.
Health Energy Advice Team Ltd (HEAT) received £2,000 to deliver culturally sensitive Freedom Programmes for victims of domestic violence and provide training for volunteers to facilitate further programmes.
Women’s Enterprising Breakthrough received £2,000 to continue the expansion of their services for NEET, vulnerable and “at risk” young men, older people, long-term unemployed and people facing barriers to employment.
Family Voices = Family Choices used their £2,200 allocation from the Commissioner to create a significant community event as diversionary tactic around mischief night in Prescot and Whiston.
Restart Trust used their £2,000 grant to help launch a new employability and training programme for offenders in Merseyside. The project, based in Huyton, will engage adult offenders of all ages, including prolific and serious offenders.
A £2,000 grant will help Halewood Youth in Community Centre to work with a broad age range of children through the development of a Showcase Celebratory Event, diverting them away from anti-social behaviour.
The Independence Initiative will use their £2,000 grant to help provide a “safe house” where clients can stay while undergoing a detoxification programme.
St Andrews Church Clubmoor, SWITCH Project received £2,000 to help towards their yearly running costs providing a safe and quality mobile youth venue, helping to build a better sense of community.
Halewood Juniors FC were allocated £500 to improve community relations by providing training sessions and football matches for boys from different housing estates.
A £1,000 grant will help The Unity to continue their Saturday evening youth centre, providing healthy and positive activities for young people aged 11 to 23 years old.
Knowsley User Led Organisation champion the needs of residents with disabilities, carers, older people and vulnerable members of the community. Their £1,000 grant will help them continue to deliver an innovative and engaging programme of activities, targeting and reaching a wider audience.
The Anthony Walker Foundation are using their £1,000 grant to fund a part-time project worker to deliver an outreach service in key hate crime hotspots, providing a victim support service to young people and their families and running intensive awareness-raising activities.
Find out how to apply for a grant from the Commissioner's Police Property Act Fund.