Merseyside’s Police Commissioner is investing more than £100,000 in community-based activities for young people to keep them safe and help prevent crime and anti-social behaviour over the summer.
More than 2,400 young people will be able to enjoy fun, engaging activities running across Merseyside during the six-week school break, thanks to money from Emily Spurrell’s Youth Diversion Fund.
This is the first time the Commissioner has run the Fund over the summer holidays, with the focus on giving young people from struggling families more opportunities and helping to ease holiday hardship, while also looking to reduce crime and ASB which often spikes when the schools close.
By working closely with community safety partners, the PCC has been able to allocate the funding to 22 fantastic grassroots projects that are best placed to provide support for young people across the region.
The funding will be shared by six grassroots community groups in Liverpool, five in Knowsley, and Wirral, and three successful organisations from Sefton and St Helens which will provide a wide array of activities over the six week’s breaks.
Many of the organisations will also provide meals for the young people to ensure they are not going without during the school holidays.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said, “It’s fantastic to be able to award a cash boost to each these 22 great grassroots organisations across Merseyside to help them provide safe, fun, engaging activities for young people during the school holidays.
“We know the vast majority of young people want to do something positive with their time, but sadly those opportunities aren’t always open to all. For families who are struggling to make ends meet, expensive holiday clubs and classes are simply not an option.
“Through my Youth Diversion Fund, my goal was to ease that pressure and provide a lifeline to these young people. From boxing and football sessions to cooking, dance and martial arts classes, I want to give them the chance to gain new skills and experience, increase their confidence and broaden their horizons.
“These projects are focused in areas where we know, sadly, there can often be a spike in crime and ASB during the six week’s break when young people are not in school and there are long light nights with little for them to do.
“The more we can offer exciting opportunities for young people which keep them occupied and engaged, the less chance there is they will get involved in any activity which could become anti-social or criminal, meaning fewer victims and safer communities. This gives young people a brighter future, while helping to create nicer, better places to live, and reducing the burden on the police during a particularly busy time of the year.”
Founder of Team Oasis, Paul Nilson said, “We are grateful to the PCC for this funding. It will help us deliver activities for young people during the summer months, keeping them safe, active and fed.
“Team Oasis provides a wide range of youth and family provision for all ages and abilities. Our service is in an area that may see some young people get involved in criminality due to the lack of opportunity for them. With this funding we will bridge that gap and give them other avenues to develop and thrive.”
Among the successful organisations are Centre 63 CIC in Knowsley who have been awarded £5,000 to run issue-based workshops, sports activities, practical workshops and fun activities for 180 young people aged 10 to 18.
In Sefton, £4,200 has been allocated to The Inclusion Network CIC to deliver health and wellbeing sessions including walking, fitness and fishing classes to a targeted group of 20 young people identified as being at risk of getting involved with ASB.
In Wirral, £3,940 will be used to provide boxing and mixed martial arts coaching to 25 young people, while in St Helens, the Under Construction Crew will use their cash grant to provide activities, including dance and performance classes, for 120 young people.
This is the second round of funding released by the PCC through her Youth Diversion Fund. Last year, nearly 6,500 young people benefitted from projects running during Halloween and Bonfire Night.
Image: PCC Emily Spurrell visits the Hive Youth Zone in Birkenhead