Charities celebrate £144k funding boost to prevent crime

September 28, 2022

More than £144k has been shared between charities and community organisations across County Durham and Darlington to prevent people from being drawn into crime and anti-social behaviour.


In partnership with County Durham Community Foundation, Police and Crime Commissioner Joy Allen has awarded cash to 22 organisations from her Community Safety Fund to make communities safer, stronger and more resilient to crime.


The grants support work to tackle the issues that matter most to local people and range from funding resources to reduce rural crime to investing in

diversionary activity to deter young people from crime and antisocial behaviour.


Commissioner Allen has ring fenced £100k for the grants scheme while County Durham Community Foundation provided match-funding worth £50k.


Commissioner Allen said: “Our communities are well-placed to support people to change their lifestyles and find the right path and this work is highly valued by my office and the Constabulary.


“I have promised to take a prevention-first approach to crime and this grant scheme is one of the many ways I am increasing resources at a community level to help people thrive and increase the safety of our public spaces.


“I would like to congratulate all those organisations which have been successful in this round of grants. The work they do over the coming months will be vital to reducing demand on our frontline services and ensuring people have the help and support they need to achieve a safer future.”


Michelle Cooper, Chief Executive Officer of County Durham Community Foundation, added: “When people feel their community is safe, that is the foundation for enriched lives and positive change. It is great to see such creativity in the funded projects, and commitment among local communities to address important issues. We are delighted to have run this fund once again and know the grants awarded will make our community safer and stronger.”


The Commissioner has pledged to divert young people from becoming involved in crime and anti-social behaviour as part of her ‘Safer People’ Police and Crime Plan priority.  


Grants have been allocated to a number of charities providing education, employment support, leisure and training activities for young people as part of that ambition.


Auckland Youth & Community Centre has been awarded £7,500 to improve youth wellbeing.


John Wiseman, Business Development Manager, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have secured this funding from Police and Crime Commissioner Joy Allen’s Community Safety Fund. We are especially pleased to have received £7,500; the maximum amount possible through the scheme. The grant will be used to help us fund detached youth work on Woodhouse Close estate, Mondays and Thursdays.


“We know how many young people have been affected by Covid-19 and more recent problems including the cost-of-living crisis. We also know from trusted research the importance of detached youth work; especially in economically disadvantaged communities like Woodhouse Close, where some have been hit especially hard.


“This brings into sharper focus the need for qualified, supportive, empathetic youth workers, out and about on the estate, with whom young people build trust, develop relationships and abetter understanding of how to participate and engage in their community. We are also sensitive to people’s increasing concerns about crime and anti-social behaviour. By working sensitively with the Police, other community groups and delivery partners such as Street Games, we believe that this new funding will help us to offer new and different ways to help young people. For some, this could mean the difference between positive engagement with their community and slipping gradually into risky behaviour - or even criminal activity.”


Other recipients include YMCA North Tyneside which successfully bid for £7,000 to run a safe space for young people at the YMCA in Cockfield and fund youth sessions in Barnard Castle to reduce risk-taking behaviour and anti-social behaviour.


In support of other priorities, Wellbeing 4 Men Community Interest Company was awarded £5,340 to deliver a project for men that addresses a range of issues including anger management and poor mental health while Darlington Rural Watch received £7,424 for new CCTV cameras to help deter rural crime and keep local people safe.


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