PCC visits Wakefield Youth and Community Project which benefitted from recovered proceeds of crime money (7 Mar 2017)

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), visited Chrysalis Youth and Community Project in Wakefield last week (03/03).

The project received £5000 from the Safer Communities Fund, which is financed through money recovered by the police and prosecutors under the Proceeds of Crime Act and has now been used to support more than 340 groups across West Yorkshire.

The grant ensured that for the entry fee of £1 sporting activities for local young people every Friday night for a year.

In partnership with Wakefield Youth Work Team, Chrysalis Youth and Community Project run 2 hours of football and 1 hour of roller skating for young people between the ages of 12 -18.

This provision is also visited by the local PCSOs when they are out and about. This allows for the young people to build trusting relationships with them and also adds to respect out on the streets.

The Project allows a range of activities for young people from across the Five Towns Area, and is attended by between 50 - 120 young people. The project provides a safe environment place for young people to meet and socialise with other young people.

Mark said: "Chriysalis Youth and Community Project have done fantastic job in their local area. It was clear to see how much the young people valued the facilities provided.

"Visiting these projects really is a highlight of my role and it's great to see the difference they are making at a local level with a relatively small amount of money but is exactly the sort of project the Safer Communities Fund was set up to support.

"The next round of the Safer Communities Fund opens for applications on 24 April, for more information visit my website www.westyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk."

Liz Firth, Centre Manager for Chrysalis Youth and Community Project said: "It can be a very lively evening and it must be reassuring to parents that their child is engaging in positive activities and getting support from the Youth Work Team.

"On Mischief Night we had over 100 young people in the centre and grew the partnership by adding Wakefield District Housing. With the addition of street-based work on this night it resulted in 50 young people being met on the streets of Airedale and only one recorded call to the Police."

Darrel Robinson, Youth Work Coordinator, Wakefield Council Youth Work Team said: "This project has grown and continues to offer support to all young people. This limits the risk of them becoming first time entrants in to crime. It also enables the team to identify other issues which my increase vulnerabilities.

"Funding from the PCC ensures that vulnerable young people can access a universal service delivered with youth work principles. You can follow the Youth Work Team on social media WFYouthofficial (Facebook). We are recruiting new volunteers to this project and can offer training. 450 different young people have visited the Friday Night Youth Club during the period of funding. This has resulted in 1213 contacts."

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