‘Let’s give our young people a brighter future’ – PCC visits diversionary projects this International Youth Day

PCC Emily Spurrell sat on the edge of a boxing room with a child and youth worker from Wirral Health Project CIC Boxing

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner is today marking International Youth Day by visiting a host of grassroots projects she has funded to offer diversionary activities for young people over the summer holidays.

More than £100,000 was awarded by Emily Spurrell to 22 community-based organisations to provide activities, particularly in deprived areas of Merseyside, to help ease holiday pressure and prevent young people falling into trouble during the six-week break.

The PCC will be joined by one of her Youth Ambassadors, George, as she tours four of the successful community projects to see them in action.

The Commissioner will start her day at the Wirral Health Project CIC in Birkenhead to see how they are using nearly £4,000 of funding to provide boxing and mixed martial arts coaching as well as fitness programmes for 25 young people.

She’s then heading, accompanied by George, to the Tiber Community Centre in Toxteth, which is using their funding boost to offer football and fitness activities for 200 young people across the area.

Next up on her itinerary is the Greenhouse Project which was awarded £5,000 to multi-skills programme to 50 young people before finishing in the Brunswick Youth and Community Centre, known as ‘The Brunny’ in Sefton, where she launched the fund back in May.

Merseyside Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “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 this can sometimes result in a spike in anti-social behaviour.

“This is especially true during the school holidays when, particularly for young people in deprived areas, there is nowhere for them to go, and their parents may be struggling to make ends meet and certainly can’t afford expensive kids clubs or holidays.

“My Youth Diversion Fund is designed to alleviate some of that pressure by offering a whole host of fun, interesting and enjoyable activities to keep them entertained and safe, while also ensuring they get a healthy meal.

“It’s also designed to give our young people a brighter future by giving them the chance to channel their energy and enthusiasm into positive activities, broadening their horizons and giving them a better start in life.

“This isn’t just about young people though. By funding these initiatives, we are reducing anti-social and criminal behaviour making our communities safer and improving everyone’s quality of life.”

Through her Youth Diversion Fund, the PCC has awarded cash grants to six grassroots community groups in Liverpool, five in Knowsley, and Wirral, and three successful organisations from Sefton and St Helens. From boxing and football sessions to cooking, dance and martial arts classes, the money will be used to offer young people the chance to host a wide range of activities over the six week’s breaks, ensure they get fed and have support on hand.