£100,000 invested by Merseyside’s PCC to prevent crime and keep young people engaged and safe this summer

'Youth Diversion Fund' with group of young dancers behind words

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner is investing more than £100,000 in community-based activities for young people to keep them safe and help prevent crime and anti-social behaviour over the summer.

More than 2,400 young people will be able to enjoy fun, engaging activities running across Merseyside during the six-week school break, thanks to money from Emily Spurrell’s Youth Diversion Fund.

To officially launch the Fund, the PCC will visit one of the successful organisations today. Team Oasis in Dingle will use their £5,000 cash injection to provide inclusive activities from dance to drama, sports, photography and careers support for more than 120 young people over the summer holidays.

This is the first time the Commissioner has run the Fund over the summer holidays, with the focus on giving young people from struggling families more opportunities and helping to ease holiday hardship, while also looking to reduce crime and ASB which often spikes when the schools close.

By working closely with community safety partners, the PCC has been able to allocate the funding to 22 fantastic grassroots projects that are best placed to provide support for young people across the region.

The funding will be shared by six grassroots community groups in Liverpool, five in Knowsley, and Wirral, and three successful organisations from Sefton and St Helens which will provide a wide array of activities over the six week’s breaks.

Many of the organisations will also provide meals for the young people to ensure they are not going without during the school holidays.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “It’s fantastic to be able to award a cash boost to each of these 22 great grassroots organisations across Merseyside to help them provide safe, fun, engaging activities for young people during the school holidays.

“We know the vast majority of young people are keen to do something positive with their time, but sadly those opportunities aren’t always open to all, and for families who are struggling to make ends meet, expensive holiday clubs and classes are simply not an option.

“Through my Youth Diversion Fund, my goal was to ease that pressure and provide a lifeline to these young people during the six-week break. From boxing and football sessions to cooking, dance and martial arts classes, I want to give them the chance to gain new skills and experience, increase their confidence and broaden their horizons.

“These projects are focused in areas where we know, sadly, there can often be a spike in crime and ASB during the six week’s break when young people are not in school and there are long light nights with little for them to do.

“The more we can offer exciting opportunities for young people which keep them occupied and engaged, the less chance there is they will get involved in any activity which could become anti-social or criminal, meaning fewer victims and safer communities. This gives young people a brighter future, while helping to create nicer, better places to live, and reducing the burden on the police during a particularly busy time of the year.”

Founder of Team Oasis Paul Nilson said: “We are grateful to the PCC for this funding. It will help us deliver activities for young people during the summer months, keeping them safe, active and fed.

“Team Oasis provides a wide range of youth and family provision for all ages and abilities. Our service is in an area that may see some young people get involved in criminality due to the lack of opportunity for them. With this funding we will bridge that gap and give them other avenues to develop and thrive.”

Among the successful organisations are Centre 63 CIC in Knowsley who have been awarded £5,000 to run issue-based workshops, sports activities, practical workshops and fun activities for 180 young people aged 10 to 18.

In Sefton, £4,200 has been allocated to The Inclusion Network CIC to deliver health and wellbeing sessions including walking, fitness and fishing classes to a targeted group of 20 young people identified as being at risk of getting involved with ASB.

On the Wirral, £3,940 will be used to provide boxing and mixed martial arts coaching to 25 young people, while in St Helens, the Under Construction Crew will use their cash grant to provide activities, including dance and performance classes, for 120 young people.

This is the second round of funding released by the PCC through her Youth Diversion Fund. Last year, nearly 6,500 young people benefitted from projects running during Halloween and Bonfire Night.

Projects in your area

Please find details of all the successful organisation by area below:

Knowsley – 5 projects totalling £22,830 for 900 young people:

  • Centre 63 CIC - £5,000 - 180 young people will benefit from issue-based workshops, sports activities, educational/ information and practical workshops and provide fun activities. Centre 63 will also provide early intervention and prevention mentoring of young people aged 10-18 already known to them. The community centre is the heart of an ASB location.
  • Apollo Sports Club CIC - £3,750 - for 200 young people. To hold two-hour multi-sports sessions twice a week to engage children and young people.  
  • Halewood Youth in Community Centre - £4,460 - for 120 young people. The funding will provide diversion activities for children and young people.
  • Sports Alive North West - £4,620 - to run a summer programme of activities for young people in Kirkby for 100 young people
  • Swanside Community Centre - £5,000 - for 300 young people. The funding will be used to provide sports, dance and healthy cooking sessions.

Liverpool – 6 projects totalling £27,655 for 735 young people:

  • Breckfield & North Everton Neighbourhood Council - £3,625 – to provide an outreach programme with a range of activities for 125 young people.
  • Daisy Inclusive UK - £5,000 - to run a summer project to reduce rates of antisocial behaviour and disability hate crime for 100 young people with disabilities.
  • Kaalmo Youth Development Ltd - £5,000 - The funding will be used to provide activities with the aim of diverting 140 young people away from crime and anti-social behaviour.
  • The Greenbank Project - £5,000 - to provide a multi-skills programme to 50 young people.
  • Tiber Community Building - £4,030 - to provide football and fitness activities to 200 young people.
  • Team Oasis - £5,000 - to provide youth diversion through arts, sports and career support with stakeholders including police. This will be for more than 120 young people.

Sefton – 3 projects totalling £12,586 for 150 young people:

  • Brunswick Youth Club - £3,650 - to deliver extra activities for 70 young people in an area of high ASB. The club has a proven track record of successful projects to engage young people over the summer.
  • Netherton Park Community Association - £4,736 - to provide primary and secondary social development activities to 60 children and young people from the estate.
  • The Inclusion Network CIC - £4,200 - to deliver a health and wellbeing / walking / fitness / mentoring and fishing early intervention project over the six-week period of the school summer holiday to a targeted group of 20 young people who are at risk of or involved in low level anti-social behaviour

St Helens – 3 projects totalling £14,535 for 247 young people:

  • MD Productions - £4805 - to run a six week project focusing on tackling hate crime and ASB. The project will allow for 25 people between the ages of 12 and 25 years old to develop through creativity and performing arts, such as dance, singing, acting, music, radio, art and poetry.
  • St Helens Carers Centre - £4,930 - The funding will be used to provide positive activities over the summer holidays for 102 children and young people.
  • Under Construction Crew - £4,800 - for 120 young people across St Helens to take part in a wide range of activities The group will be engaging youth activities for children and young people and divert them away from drug use, crime and anti-social behaviour.

Wirral – 5 projects totalling £23,123 for 375 young people:

  • The Carrbridge Centre LTD - £5,000 - to provide 150 young people with an activity programme over the summer to run alongside HAF2022.
  • The Little Centre Beechwood - £4,790 - The funding will be used to provide diversionary activities to 60 children and young people.
  • Utopia Project CIC - £4,980 - The funding will be used to provide art, cooking, alternative sports and team building activities for 40 children and young people.
  • Wirral Health Project CIC - £3,940 - The funding will be used to provide boxing and mixed martial arts coaching. The group will also provide fitness programmes for 25 young people.
  • Wirral Youth Zone - £4,413 - The funding will be used to provide diversionary performing arts project for 100 children and young people.

Merseyside total - £100,729 for 2,407 young people over 22 projects