More than 11,300 young people will benefit from projects which will keep them away from dangerous activities this Halloween and Bonfire Night, thanks to funding raised by the police from the sale of stolen goods.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has today announced the 26 youth initiatives that will receive a share of the £45,000 pot which is being used to divert young people away from getting involved in anti-social or criminal behaviour during the autumn half term.
Jane Kennedy has awarded the grants from her Police Property Act (PPA) Fund, which puts money raised through the sale of unclaimed stolen goods or property recovered by the police that cannot be returned to its owners into worthwhile causes.
This is the fourth year the Commissioner has focussed the funding on keeping communities safe during one of the busiest times of the year for the police. The successful organisations from this round of funding will run a host of projects during the school half-term holidays with the aim of keeping a total of 11,331 young people engaged in safe and supervised activities.
Jane said: “Halloween and Bonfire Night are a time of great fun and enjoyment for many people across Merseyside.
“Sadly, though it is also a time when sometimes the fun can get out of hand and lead to young people getting involved in behaviour which can become intimidating, anti-social or even dangerous to other members of the community.
“Traditionally, this means it is often a very busy period for both Merseyside Police and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service.
“By funding these youth projects across Merseyside, my aim is to help thousands of young people enjoy the festivities in a safe and enjoyable way at organised and well managed events. This will help to ensure they don’t get involved in any activities that could either put them in danger or that they may regret in the future.
“This will also help to relieve the strain on our emergency services during this critical period, complementing the excellent diversionary work the police and fire service already carry out and making sure people can enjoy the celebrations during the holiday season.
“For this year’s successful organisations, even a small cash boost can make a huge difference and will enable them to run some fantastic grassroots projects which really engage with young people’s imaginations while keeping them safe.”
A total of 51 applications were received for the funding, amounting to requests for more than £184,000. The bids were reviewed by a panel from the Commissioner’s office and the Community Foundation for Merseyside, who manage the fund on the PCC’s behalf.
As a result, 14 organisations in Liverpool and five initiatives on the Wirral have been awarded funding, with four initiatives in Sefton, two in Knowsley and one in St Helens all benefitting. Much of the funding was focused in ‘hotspot’ areas where communities have been identified as most susceptible to threat and risk.
Among the successful organisations was Rice Lane Residents’ Association which received £1,500 for youth diversion activities for up to 5,000 community members. Other initiatives include Writing on the Wall, a project which aims to use music and art to engage with a group of young people in the Dingle and Toxteth area and Anfield Community Arts which received £2,000 to provide creative arts and lantern making sessions ahead of a family Halloween celebration for up to 150 young people.
The PPA fund is administered by the Community Foundation for Merseyside, (CFM) on behalf of the Commissioner. CFM holds funds from philanthropic individuals and organisations who wish to support deserving causes in Merseyside and Lancashire.