Thousands of young people will have the chance to gain valuable skills, helping to unlock their potential and build brighter futures as Merseyside’s Violence Reduction Partnership reveals the successful applicants for its Arts | Culture | Sport Fund.
Music making, drama workshops, boxing, yoga, and knife crime interventions are just some of the activities set to be delivered by the 18 charities, organisations and community groups who will benefit from a share of more than £200,000 from the Fund.
After inviting bids for the fund earlier this year, the Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership (MVRP) have today confirmed the brilliant grassroots projects which have been awarded the funding to deliver initiatives focused on engaging and supporting young people, with funding focused on the areas of Merseyside which have seen the highest levels of violence and the biggest cuts to youth services.
As well as offering access to new opportunities, the Arts | Culture | Sport Fund is focused on helping young people to build their confidence, develop leadership skills and make positive decisions for the future, all helping to unlock the potential of young people across the region.
A wide-ranging and diverse selection of activities are being offered by the successful applicants including Future Yard CIC in Wirral which will engage with hundreds of young people through live music, offering some work experience places in sound checking.
Autism in Motion in Fazakerley is providing Special Educational Needs activities to 11–25-year-olds, including abseiling, kayaking, yoga, and drama sessions whilst educating on exploitation, how to avoid it and what to do if it happens to them.
Community By Nature in Bootle is using a forest school-themed experience as early intervention to educate children on the consequences of knife crime and teaching them how to safely use tools in a controlled environment.
As well as helping to steer young people away from trouble, parents are also being offered support with Beautiful New Beginnings in West Derby providing anger management support to mums and dads as well as 1-2-1 counselling sessions for children.
In Knowsley, Shakespeare North Trust will receive £12,705 to work with young people to redesign the Theatre’s piazza through engaging discussion and workshops, whilst in St Helens Hip Hop CIC will deliver crime awareness workshops to year six and secondary school pupils.
Last year, more than 8,500 young people benefitted from activities and projects run by 20 grassroots organisations funded by the MVRP, resulting in some gaining qualifications in mental health awareness and first aid, as well as learning digital skills and taking part in street art sessions and sports camps.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “I’m delighted to announce the next round of successful bids for our Arts | Culture | Sport Fund. We know how important it is to give our young people the chance to try new experiences and gain skills and qualifications that can set them on a positive path and help to build brighter futures.
“Engaging young people with great, fun activities is vital if we want to help them reach their full potential and prevent them getting involved in activities which could lead to trouble, or harm to themselves or others.
“Sadly, we have seen the devastating impact that austerity and the cost-of-living increase has had on families in our region. Those pressures, coupled with the desperate underfunding of local councils and youth services have seen opportunities for our young people decrease significantly in recent years.
“By investing in young people, our Arts | Culture | Sport Fund is entirely focused on reversing that trend by giving them the chance to access brilliant activities, projects and training opportunities that benefit them mentally, physically, and culturally and helping them make better choices for the future.
“From work experience placements to sporting sessions, drama classes, one to one mentoring and vital education work to tackle key issues including knife crime, exploitation and domestic abuse, these 18 projects have all been chosen because they will support and inspire our young people to achieve more, and I’m really excited to see how each of them progress over the coming months.”
Superintendent Georgina Garvey, Temporary Director for the Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership said: “By providing funding to these fantastic grassroots organisations, our goal is to enable them to provide unique opportunities that support our young people, building their skillsets, increasing their confidence as well as their physical and mental health and creating a positive legacy.
“We had some wonderful applications that made the process of choosing these successful bidders all the more difficult, but we are delighted and really proud of the diverse range of initiatives that will be available to our young people through this funding. From hip hop workshops to yoga to football tournaments to residential retreats, we have a plethora of inspiring activities for young people to enjoy.”
James Proctor, Programmes Manager at the Community Foundation for Merseyside said : “We are proud to continue our work with the Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership to deliver this funding to support a range of local community projects making a positive difference to young people’s lives.
“The Funding awarded will help charitable groups in many different parts of Merseyside to deliver targeted projects using the positive impact of arts, culture and sporting activities to help both prevent and protect young people from experiencing violence”.
Find out more about successful projects here.
What is the Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership?
In total, 20 Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) have been established across England and Wales to help deliver the Government’s Serious Violence Strategy to tackle knife and gun crime and homicide.
Police and Crime Commissioners lead on commissioning these multi-agency units in their areas, bringing together strategic partners to deliver system-wide interventions to prevent and reduce crime.
In Merseyside, we renamed our unit to the Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership (VRP) because we believe the word ‘partnership’ reflects the way we work and approach this challenge.
The VRP brings together Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue, local government, National Probation Service and the county’s Youth Offending Service, health and education professionals, community leaders and other key partners.