Commissioner awards £45,000 to help keep communities safe this Bonfire Night

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More than 12,000 young people will be able to join projects which help to keep them away from dangerous activities this Halloween and Bonfire Night, thanks to funding raised by the police from the sale of stolen goods.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has awarded more than £45,000 to 22 different youth initiatives which will run over the autumn half term with the aim of diverting young people away from getting involved in anti-social or criminal behaviour.

Jane Kennedy has awarded the grants from her Police Property Act (PPA) Fund, which puts money raised through the sale of unclaimed stolen goods or property recovered by the police that cannot be returned to its owners into worthwhile causes.

This is the third year the Commissioner has used the money to focus on keeping communities safe during one of the busiest times of the year for the police.

The awards are designed to give a vital cash boost to organisations that are making a difference in their communities by reducing crime and anti-social behaviour, supporting victims of crime or making neighbourhoods safer places to live.

Jane said: “Halloween and Bonfire Night are a time of fun and celebration for many people across Merseyside.

“Sadly, though it is also a time when sometimes the fun can get out of hand and lead to young people getting involved in behaviour which can become anti-social, intimidating or even dangerous to other members of the community. This means that historically it is often a very busy period for both Merseyside Police and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service.

“By funding these youth projects across Merseyside, my aim is to help thousands of young people enjoy the festivities in a safe and enjoyable way at organised and well managed events. This will help to ensure they don’t get involved in any activities that could either put them in danger or that they may regret in the future.

“This will also help to relieve the strain on our emergency services during this critical period, complementing the excellent diversionary work the police and fire service already carry out and making sure people can enjoy the celebrations during the holiday season.”

A total of 68 applications were received for the funding, amounting to requests for nearly £250,000. The bids were reviewed by a panel from the Commissioner’s office and the Community Foundation for Merseyside, who manage the fund on the PCC’s behalf. As a result, nine organisations in Liverpool and five in Knowsley will receive funding, with three initiatives in both St Helens and Wirral benefitting and two in Sefton.

Among the successful organisations was Family Voices which received £3,000 to run its Phoenix Night youth diversion projects for up to 3,000 young people which includes a fun fair, DJing, breaking and urban arts workshops in the Knowsley area. In Liverpool, Rice Lane City Farm received a grant of £2,000 to work with young people to run a community bonfire and firework display for up to 2,300 people, while in Sefton up to 5,000 young people will be able to join a series of ‘Sporting Lights’ event run by the Friends of Alexandra and Coronation Park offering zorbing, climbing, football coaching and basketball.

The PPA fund is administered by the Community Foundation for Merseyside, (CFM) on behalf of the Commissioner. CFM holds funds from philanthropic individuals and organisations who wish to support deserving causes in Merseyside and Lancashire.

CFM’s Community Philanthropy Manager James Proctor said: “We are proud to be working with Merseyside’s Police Commissioner and administering the Police Property Act fund.

“This fund is very popular and the decision making panel had some extremely difficult choices to make with so many valuable projects presented. We feel the projects supported will make a huge impact in communities at this time of the year and wish them every success.”

For further information on the Community Foundation please visit www.cfmerseyside.org.uk

Read about some of the great work being done by the successful applicants and find out about the grants which have been awarded on the Commissioner’s website www.merseysidepcc.info.

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