Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner saw first-hand how funding from his Safer Communities Fund is helping homeless and vulnerable people rebuild their lives.
David Keane visited the Room at the Inn in Warrington to see how they are using the funding to develop a buddying programme for residents at the night shelter or for those being supported by the day centre – the Y Project.
As part of the project, support workers accompany residents to medical and addiction appointments or to meetings at the job centre to give them increased confidence and support. The support workers also continue to visit service users when they have moved back into the community to ensure they are keeping on track.
The buddying programme is currently supporting 20 people but the funding from the commissioner will allow the charity to expand the project by recruiting volunteer buddies to support even more vulnerable people.
The commissioner was able to meet some of the residents who have benefitted from the programme and heard how the buddies are making a difference to so many people’s lives.
David said: “This project is making a real difference in Warrington by helping vulnerable or homeless people rebuild their lives.
“My Safer Communities Fund is there to not only support vulnerable people but also to invest in projects that prevent crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB). It is a mark of a civilised society that we support those who need the most help to get their lives on track.
“The buddying project is working hard to reduce ASB and crime in the Warrington area by ensuring vulnerable people who use the day centre or night shelter have a pathway into a better life.”
Susan Blythe, manager of Room at the Inn and the Y Project, added: “We’re really grateful to the police and crime commissioner for awarding us this grant to expand our buddying project.
“The aim of the project is to support service users to attend appointments so that they can achieve better physical and mental health, reduce drug and alcohol misuse and gain essential life skills whilst build confidence.
“We’re already seeing the benefits of the project among our existing clients; it’s allowing them to lead more stable lives and move forward. I look forward to seeing the wider benefits when we’re able to recruit more volunteers to support us.”
The buddying programme is one of 17 projects across Cheshire which received Safer Communities Funding in 2017-18 to support crime prevention or meet the objectives within the commissioner’s police and crime plan.
To find out more about the Safer Communities Fund, please visit https://www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk/what-im-doing/safer-communities-fund/