PCC’s Safer Communities Fund returns with £200,000 available (15 Apr 2019)

The Safer Communities Fund is back with £200,000 available!

From today (15/04) community groups and projects from across West Yorkshire can apply for a grant for initiatives to help keep our communities safe and feeling safe.

Mark Burns- Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) runs the fund which is now in its sixteenth grant round.

The latest grant round includes a few changes as Mark explains: "For the first time ever the Safer Communities Fund has a split funding pot.

"Half of the money will be available to projects looking to either tackle drugs and alcohol misuse or work focusing on young people, with the other half open to applications looking to address any of the priorities in my Police and Crime Plan.

"We cannot hope to tackle serious and violent crime or reduce reoffending without addressing the underlying problems such as substance abuse, and we can only do this by working together with partners and communities. Similarly we need to work together to provide support, early intervention and opportunities to young people before they get drawn in to crime and ASB.

"I have also made the decision to increase the maximum grant from £5000 to £6000 as I want the fund to be able to help even more during the ongoing austerity across many key services.

"This latest round of the Safer Communities Fund closes for applications on 24th May 2019 at 12:00 noon, for more details visit my website at /safer-communities-fund.aspx."

The Safer Communities Fund launched in 2014 and in that time Mark has given out of £2.6m to 617 projects.

Two such recently funded projects are Rawthorpe Amateur Boxing Club (RABC) and The Basement Project.

RABC received £5000 to help with their youth diversion project which provides boxing and recreational activities such as pool and table tennis to young people in the area.

Mark Reynolds founder and operator of RABC Boxing club, said: "We engage with all of our community using the discipline of boxing training to inspire all. Our age range is from 3 years to 76 years old and we are now in our 21st year of operation.

"90% of our work is non-contact boxing so it's not just about making boxing champions but more importantly making community champions who live a better life.

"The recent award will help us engage further with our community and as a voluntary group struggling to get funds, help to keep us going."

The Basement Project, who offer peer-to-peer support and inspiration to people who suffer alcohol and drug addiction, received £5000 to expand their services.

Lisa Whittaker, Community Recovery Coordinator at The Basement Recovery Project, said: "The funding from the PCC grant will be going to further develop our Saturday Social at The Basement Recovery Project that provides a safe environment for those in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction and their families on a weekend.

"We are also underway with a pantomime production of Cinderella to perform to the community in the autumn. This funding is a great benefit to the members of Calderdale in Recovery and their families."

The Safer Communities Fund is financed through money recovered from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) by West Yorkshire Police and prosecutors.

Assistant Chief Constable Catherine Hankinson, of West Yorkshire Police, said: "Two of our key priorities as highlighted in the Police and Crime Plan are to tackle violent crime and to protect the vulnerable. The Safer Communities Fund reinforces these priorities and shows that crime does not pay. We continue to take money and assets from criminals and give them back to the same communities that those criminals have harmed.

"By reinvesting seized assets, we can support incredibly worthy groups and individuals in our Communities who make a real difference in both protecting those that are most vulnerable whilst at the same time tackling violent crime across West Yorkshire.

"I would encourage any organisation that feels they meet the criteria for a grant to apply."

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019