Community groups awarded £45k to keep 7,500 young people safe over autumn half term

Christ Church

More than 7,500 young people will be able to enjoy safe activities this Halloween and Bonfire Night, thanks to funding raised by the police from the sale of stolen goods.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy has today announced the 24 community projects that will receive a share of funding from the Police Property Act (PPA) Fund which directs 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.

For the last three years, the Commissioner has concentrated the money on helping community organisations to run activities and projects over the busy autumn period which keep young people safe and divert them away from getting involved in anti-social or criminal behaviour.

The successful organisations from this round of funding will run a host of projects which will complement Merseyside Police and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service’s Operation Banger plans with the aim of keeping a total of 8,595 young people engaged in safe and supervised activities.

Jane said: “Halloween and Bonfire Night are a time of fun and excitement for many people across Merseyside and there are some fantastic events being held.

“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.

“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 themselves or others in harm’s way. It could also prevent them from getting involved with behaviour that they may come to regret in the future.

“It 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 72 applications were received for the funding, amounting to requests for more than £230,000. The bids were shared with community safety partners before being 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, 11 organisations in Liverpool and five initiatives in Sefton were awarded funding, with four initiatives in Wirral, two in Knowsley and two 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 were The Hive, Wirral Youth Zone, which received £3,000 to run “HiveAgeddon: The Survivors” scarefest for more than two weeks, reaching 2,600 young people. In St Helens, the Under Construction Crew were among the successful organisation. They were awarded funding to run a hip hop project for more than 200 young people through the half term.

In Liverpool, 150 young people will benefit from extra football sessions at the Rhys Jones Centre in Croxteth, while in Kensington, Park Options Ltd will be running ‘Terrigfied’ which will see families and young people get together for a lantern procession, haunted graveyard and Dracula’s cave. Anfield Boxing Club will use £2,000 to run a series of targeted sessions, offering young people the change to complete an England Boxing Leader Course, whi