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New £400,000 fund to prevent serious violence unveiled by Merseyside Police

1 month ago

New £400,000 fund to prevent serious violence unveiled by Merseyside Police

A new £400,000 fund to prevent serious violence by saying YES to brighter futures for young people across Merseyside goes live today.

The Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES) has been unveiled by Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Emily Spurrell, and the Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership (MVRP) with the aim of unlocking the potential of thousands of young people across the region by providing safe, positive opportunities.

The money will be focused in areas of Merseyside which have seen the highest levels of violence and the biggest cuts to youth services, with the aim of keeping young people safe and supported and helping to steer them away from trouble.

Community groups, charities and third sectors can bid for a grant of between £5,000 and £25,000 to run projects and programmes over the next year which give young people the opportunity to gain valuable skills and qualifications, build their confidence and make positive decisions for the future.

Projects can run throughout the year, with a focus on times when issues can traditionally increase including the school summer holiday and over the autumn half term.

The funding pot, which totals £414,000, brings together the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Youth Diversion Fund and the MVRP’s Arts | Culture | Sports Fund to create one new super youth fund designed to make it easier for organisations to apply for funding and to provide bigger grants that community groups can use all year round.

Last year, nearly 10,000 young people benefitted from the activities and projects run through the two funds, gaining qualifications in mental health awareness and first aid, learning digital skills, photography and acting and taking part in dance workshops, street arts sessions and sports camps.

By combining the two pots, it’s hoped the YES fund will reach even more young people and enable them to have access to opportunities throughout the year.

Young people who benefitted from last year’s projects were invited to help design the logo for the new fund. Oliver Ballard, who attended Youth Diversion Fund sessions at Park Farm Community Centre in St Helens last year was picked as the winner for his colourful design featuring young people in front of a globe waving a YES banner.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said:

“I’m committed to tackling violence by investing in prevention and early intervention.

“It’s essential we engage our young people if we are to prevent them from getting drawn into activities that could become criminal or dangerous and create safer, brighter futures.

“Our new YES fund is designed to help unlock the potential of young people across our region by giving them the chance to try new experiences, gain skills and qualifications in a safe, positive, fun environment.

“By launching this new super youth fund, our aim is to make it as easy as possible for our amazing community groups and charities to access funding for the year ahead to provide the most exciting and engaging activities for young people.

“I can’t wait to review the bids we get and see what opportunities we can provide to support and inspire our young people over the year ahead.”

Director of the MVRP, Superintendent Georgie Garvey added:

“We firmly believe that violence is preventable, not inevitable and a key part of our approach is putting children and young people first.

“There are many reasons why young people can go down the wrong path. Poverty, inequality, and a lack of opportunities can all play a big part.

“We are committed to finding solutions to those issues – investing in our young people and addressing the root causes of violence to make our communities safer.

“Through our new YES fund, we are focused on helping young people to make positive choices for the future, building skills such as communication, team building and self-confidence, and providing alternative opportunities which significantly reduce their chance of ever becoming involved in violence.”

Grassroots organisations which are interested in applying are invited to get advice and support to submit a bid at a drop-in Q&A event between 10am and 12noon on 28th May at Kirkdale Community Fire Station on Derby Road.

The YES will be administered by the Community Foundation for Merseyside (CFM) which holds funds from individuals and organisations as donors who wish to support deserving causes in Merseyside.

All applications must be submitted online via the Community Foundation for Merseyside by 4pm on Friday 14th June 2024.

Apply for the Youth Empowerment scheme here.

Find all the latest Liverpool news here.

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