Charities and community groups across Merseyside can now apply for a share of a £200,000 funding pot designed to prevent young people being drawn into violence by giving them access to better opportunities.
The Arts | Culture | Sports Fund has been released by the Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership (MVRP) with the aim of unlocking the potential of thousands of young people across the region by giving them the chance to gain valuable skills and qualifications, build their confidence and make positive decisions for the future.
The money will be focused in areas of Merseyside which have seen the highest levels of violence and the biggest cuts to youth services, with the aim of providing greater support for young people and helping to steer them away from trouble.
This is the second round of money released by the MVRP from the fund and community groups, charities and third sector organisations can now submit their bids for up to £15,000 of funding for projects which will run until the end of March.
Grassroots organisations which are interested in applying are invited to get advice and support to submit a bid at a drop-in Q&A event between 10am and 12noon on Tuesday 12 September at Kirkdale Community Fire Station.
More than 8,500 young people benefitted from the activities and projects run by 20 grassroots organisations with last year’s funding, gaining qualifications in mental health awareness and first aid, learning digital skills, photography and acting and taking part in dance workshops, street arts sessions and sports camps.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “The best way to prevent serious violence is to stop young people from ever getting drawn into activities that could become criminal or dangerous.
“We can do that by investing in our young people – helping them to unlock their potential by giving them safe, positive, fun opportunities and the chance to try new experiences, gain skills and qualifications. This is critical in preventing young people from getting involved in trouble and instead helping them to reach their full potential.
“Our Arts | Culture | Sports fund is focused on doing just that – working with all our amazing community groups and charities to direct funding to areas we know youth services and opportunities for young people have been cut in recent years and sadly, as a result, crime has increased.
“I’m excited to review the bids we get and see what opportunities we can provide to support and inspire our young people to achieve more.”
Temporary Director of the MVRP, Superintendent Georgie Garvey added: “The causes of violence are complex and involve deep-seated problems like poverty, inequality, social alienation and a lack of opportunities for young people.
“At the MVRP, we are committed to finding solutions to those issues – investing in our young people and addressing the root causes of violence to make our communities safer.
“With the right support, we know we can help young people to make positive choices for the future, building skills such as communication, team building and self-confidence, and providing alternative opportunities which significantly reduce their chance of ever becoming involved in crime.”
Last year’s recipients included Tranmere Rovers in the Community (TRIC) who used £50,000 to transform a run-down community space, the Beechwood Recreation Centre, into an amazing facility for local young people boasting a chill-out room and sports equipment, while hosting weekly football sessions.
Another successful organisation, Autism Adventure Training, were awarded £17,000 to deliver sporting classes for young people with autism and other neurodiverse conditions, including what are believed to be the first karate classes in the region which enabled the young people to be graded.
Julie Simpson, who founded Autism Adventures Training after finding there were few activities for children like her son Joe, said: “This funding we received was really vital to the services we were able to provide. Before the funding, we were never sure from one term to the next whether we’d be able to deliver. The MVRP’s funding gave us the stability to increase the number of children we’re able to support.”
The Arts | Culture | Sport Fund is administered by the Community Foundation for Merseyside, (CFM) on behalf of the MVRP. CFM holds funds from individuals and organisations as donors who wish to support deserving causes in Merseyside.
CFM’s Programmes Director James Proctor said: “We are pleased to be working alongside MVRP and Merseyside Sports Partnership again to deliver vital funding that promotes youth engagement in art, culture and sporting activities to reduce levels of crime in key areas of Merseyside.
All applications must be submitted online via the Community Foundation for Merseyside by 4pm on Monday 2 October 2023.
Please visit their website https://cfmerseyside.org.uk/funds/merseyside-violence-reduction-partnership-–-arts–culture–sports-fund to apply.