Community projects across Merseyside to benefit from cash seized from criminals03.10.23 - Merseyside
Communities across Merseyside are set to benefit from funding from Merseyside Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner, using money seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).
In June, Merseyside Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner launched the Community Cashback Fund, inviting grassroots organisations and community groups across Merseyside to apply for a share of £100,000 from the fund to further develop existing projects or start new ones that focus on preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, diversion away from criminal gangs, and promoting diversity, equality and inclusion.
The Community Cashback Fund is one of several initiatives that take place throughout the year to enable Merseyside Police to reinvest some of the money seized from criminals back into local communities to help provide vital resources and fund community projects across Merseyside. It is aimed at strengthening community resilience by supporting local clubs and groups, which in turn helps to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, promote diversionary activities, and support vulnerable members of the community.
Serious and organised crime poses a significant threat to our communities. Merseyside Police is committed to pursuing these criminals with the full force of the law and ensuring that the proceeds of their crimes are spent improving the communities they have brought misery to.
Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner, Emily Spurrell said: “I’m excited to announce the successful bids for our Community Cashback Fund, taking cash out of the pockets of criminals and putting it back where it belongs – into grassroots communities across Merseyside.
“Our region benefits from brilliant community organisations which are working hard to make their areas safer and stronger. We want to give our young people better opportunities and what better way than taking money from the criminal gangs who try to exploit our communities and giving it back to local people.
“From boxing to apprenticeships and youth work to crime awareness programmes, there are a fantastic range of projects benefiting from the funding and I can’t wait to see the impact this has in our communities for the months and years to come.”
Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said: “Our work to stop criminals is ongoing and relentless. It’s fantastic to see the number of community initiatives that will benefit from money, seized from criminals, under the Proceeds of Crime Act. It pays dividends when the money, seized by the force through positive and proactive work, can be shared with worthy causes that benefit the communities who are often blighted by crime.
“The vast majority of young people want to do something positive with their time, which will give them life skills, free from the exploitation of criminals. Our Community Cashback Fund has allowed us to use criminals’ ill-gotten gains to fund schemes that help them do just that right across Merseyside, from community centres and boxing clubs, to counselling services, mentoring and peer support.”
"Each and every one of the initiatives that have benefited from this money are thoroughly deserving and will put it to very good use. I am confident their positive impact will be felt for a long time and I look forward to hearing how they progress in the months and years to come."
The successful initiatives are:
Diversion away from criminal gangs
Cells Project CIO – £5,000
Based in Knowsley, the group will deliver five crime and consequence awareness programmes in each borough of Merseyside for children and young people.
Knowsley Vale Amateur Boxing Club - £4,902
The club will deliver a boxing and 1-2-1 mentor programme to 13-18 year olds, consisting of two boxing sessions per week and mentoring at weekends.
Norris Green Youth Centre Ltd - £5,000
The youth centre will provide practical education and ongoing support to at-risk young people from turbulent families.
People Empowered CIC - £5,000
Diversionary and prevention activities will be provided in hotspots across St Helens for 10-18 year olds. This will be done by developing connections and providing activities including art, sports, fishing, poetry, and more. Weekly 1-2-1 mentoring will be provided to 10-15 individuals who at at an increased risk of being drawn into criminality.
Utopia Project CIC - £4,977.48
Based in Rock Ferry, the funding will be used to provide personal development activities for young people who are at risk of becoming involved in criminality.
Prevention of crime and anti-social behaviour
Southdene Community Association - £4,447.53
Based in Kirkby, the association will provide mentoring and peer support through apprenticeships, improving employment prospects and running anti knife crime events.
New Beginnings - Improving Lives CIC - £3,500
Based in Tuebrook and Stoneycroft, the money will allow the men's 'Box Well' programme to be expanded to 18-24 year olds, specifically ex-offenders and addicts. An additional class will be held on Wednesdays for younger individuals. The fund will also allow them to support service users in their travel, including a pick-up service or the purchase of travel tickets.
Positive Pathways North West - £5,000
Based in Everton, three detached youth work sessions will be offered each week beginning in March and running through to October, with two sessions running each week between November-February. Each session aims to target an area in the city centre with high rates of ASB and other issues, informed through multiple pathways such as the police and Liverpool ONE. Trips and activities including go karting wall climbing, educational sessions will be offered, as well as signposting to further support.
Methodist Centre - £4,880
Based in Princes Park, the group will provide diversionary activities and new early intervention initiatives to support and divert at risk young people, in addition to offering relevant social and educational activities.
Granby Somali Women's Group - £4,920
The funding will be used to allow 12 young people to earn FA Level 1 and 2 coaching badges, with the aim of helping them into employment.
Girls Friendly Society - £2,500
To continue the Girls Friendly Society in Anfield, which provides educational activities to disadvantaged girls and provides them with a community to develop their confidence.
Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (KnifeSavers) - £5,000
To continue to provide sessions across secondary schools, educating young people about the dangers of knife crime and how to treat a knife wound.
Netherton Feel Good Factory - £5,000
To continue to provide activities for parents and children, and both physical and emotional support. These include weekly after school clubs for children, parenting programmes, training current volunteers, and engagement with the families through the community garden.
The Independence Initiative - £5,000
Based in Bootle, the initiative will continue to provide wraparound support for residents (prison leavers) by offering training, link up services with GPs, benefits and more.
Saints Community Development Foundation - £5,000
Based in St Helens, the foundation will run a range of activities including sports, creative arts and dance and outdoor education to engage young people, supporting their development and wellbeing while reducing crime locally.
Wirral Development Trust - £5,000
Based in Leasowe, the Trust will provide a weekly safe space for local teenagers, expanding their provision to two nights a week. Food and refreshments will be provided along with a variety of activities.
The Carrbridge Centre - £5,000
Based in Woodchurch, the youth club currently runs four times a week and the funding will be used to provide an additional session. The club provides the only social facility on the estate offering parent and toddler groups, community trips, emergency food, welfare support and much more.
Promoting Diversity, Equality and Inclusion
South Liverpool Domestic Abuse Services - £5,000
To support domestic abuse survivors through 1-2-1 support, drop-in sessions in different locations, and provide recovery tools.
Sahir House - £5,000
Based in Liverpool City Centre, the aim is to bring together LGBTQIA+ organisations and activists and hold a forum to discuss safety, inequality, cohesion, and other matters. It is a place for local residents to share their concerns and voice, allowing the members of the communities to lead discussions about their own safety.
Sefton Council for Voluntary Service - £4,992,70
To provide social clubs for 18-25 year olds with special educational needs. The groups offer peer support and activities.
Wonder Arts - £4,400
Based in St Helens, the group uses diversionary activities to explore issues faced by marginalised communities, with the aim of reducing anti-social behaviour and improving confidence and mental health. 48 sessions will be offered to disabled young people aged 7-26, 24 sessions will be provided for the neurodivergent community, and 24 sessions for young deaf people.
Tomorrow’s Women Wirral - £4,719.90
The funds will be used to establish a mobile outreach initiative to engage with sex workers on the street at night. The van will have support resources such as sexual health care, needle exchange, information, refreshments, and a referral service.