Posted on Monday 26th June

David Keane, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, is encouraging residents to join together and bid for funding to help make their communities safer.

The Safer Communities Fund was established to encourage public involvement in the prevention and reduction of crime, helping to create safer communities across Cheshire. Over the past twelve months the fund has benefited more than 25 community groups, helping to improve the lives of thousands of residents.

Last year’s recipients’ included Bridge Community Farms in Ellesmere Port, who were awarded £5,000 to provide work experience opportunities for students with behavioural difficulties; PAPYRUS, Prevention of Young Suicide, who were presented with £5,000, towards their project which aims to reduce the number of suicides involving young people in Cheshire, and Victoria Park Experience, who were awarded £5,000 to fund four community engagement events in the Summer Holidays, which were attended by more than 10,000 children.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire David Keane said:  "I am committed to working with local residents and community groups to support them in delivering safer communities for the whole of Cheshire. The Safer Communities Fund provides grants to assist groups in tackling local concerns, and reducing crime in their area.

"Local people understand their communities better than anyone and many have some well thought out ideas on what could be done to improve their area. By providing funding through the Safer Communities Fund I want to empower people to make a positive impact whether they are involved in local organisations, charities, community and volunteering groups.”

The latest group to benefit from the fund were Nightstop Communities Northwest a Widnes based charity which was awarded £5,000. The charity provides safe, secure emergency accommodation for single homeless young people who are aged 16-25 years.

The money awarded to them will be used to help develop a ‘Ladies First’ group, which aims to encourage women to take time out for themselves, improve their mental health, wellbeing and wellness.

Terri Keaney said, Chief Executive Officer of NQNW said: “We are delighted that David was able to take time out of his busy schedule to come and see the fabulous work that is delivered at Nightstop.

“David kindly donated some funding for us to be able to support a women’s group who can come together, share experiences and support each other. The donation enabled the group to arrange several trips and outings and to take part in crafts and other activities which they chose. We are delighted with the success of the group and aim to continue to expand it and hopefully see more ladies wishing to join.”

David added: “I’m delighted to have awarded this money to Nightstop and I would like to thank Terri and the team in Widnes for being so welcoming, I look forward to visiting the charity again in the future to see the benefits that the funding has provided.

“I hope that the funding awarded to Nightstop acts as a catalyst to encourage other local charities and community groups to come forwards and bid for funding.

"In keeping with my policing priorities, I want to see projects that support victims and vulnerable people or prevent crime and anti-social behaviour and I’m asking bidders to demonstrate that they can work to make their project sustainable. There is no minimum funding level, and therefore no project is too small - if it helps making your local community safer I’m keen to get behind it!"

Any charities or community groups who have a project or initiative in mind that will help make their communities safer is urged to visit the Safer Communities Fund section to find out more information. All applications received will be assessed in the Autumn.