Commissioner’s cash support for borough projects
FOUR projects for young and old alike across Runcorn and Widnes have been awarded grants by Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner.
David Keane announced which schemes were to benefit from this year’s Safer Communities Fund on December 24.
They are: Age Concern Mid Mersey, Runcorn Youth Zone, Village Life and The Vikings Sports Foundation.
The maximum grant is £5,000 and projects must support crime prevention.
Age Concern Mid-Mersey was awarded the full amount for its Good Neighbour Project, which will be run by Age Concern, Halton Safeguarding Partnership and Halton Borough Council and will aim to make the area safer by identifying and dealing with issues such as ‘county lines’ drug supply and hate crime.
Runcorn Shopping City has also been awarded the full £5,000 to furnish Runcorn Youth Zone, which was recently launched in a former gym in the centre and is aimed to give young people an alternative to engaging in anti-social behaviour.
The Vikings Sports Foundation in Widnes is to receive £3,900 for its Engage project in six locations across Halton, using sport to break down barriers with young people and provide a chance for the police and other agencies such as the fire service to interact with them.
The fourth grant is £980 for Runcorn-based Village Life to support its work running events at Castlefields Community Centre to reduce social isolation in the Halton Castle ward, with two events planned in 2019 for more than 60 older residents to bring them together to create friendships and signpost them to other support services if needed.
Thirteen schemes in total across Cheshire are being awarded cash in the latest round of funding.
Mr Keane said: “I’m pleased to have been able ● to award funding from my Safer Communities Fund to even more organisations which are working tirelessly to make Cheshire even safer.
“We’ve seen unprecedented interest in this year’s fund with a whole raft of applicants committed to delivering projects which prevent crime and anti-social behaviour or support victims and vulnerable people.
“This fund is about empowering local people, giving support to local projects and making our local communities safer.
“The support of our community partners and local people is helping police tackle issues at their root cause.”
Karl Clawley, Runcorn Shopping City manager, said: “The project to give young people a safe haven to come along and chill with their friends is some- thing we have been trying to deliver for a while.
“Working with various partners including Trust Ford, Youth Addaction, Halton Borough Council and Cheshire police, we have been able to open a 5,000 sq ft unit equipped with a film, study and youth zone.
“We really appreciated the commissioner’s contribution to funding the facility.”
Mark Lunney, Age UK Mid Mersey chief executive and Halton Safeguarding Partnership chairman, said: “Halton Safeguarding Partnership forum members, supported by Halton Council, are delighted to benefit from this grant.
“It will allow us to reach out to hundreds of groups and organisations across Halton and surrounding areas to raise greater awareness of community cohesion creating a safer place to live for all ages, and particularly those most vulnerable”
Richard Munson, of The Vikings Sports Foundation, said: “On behalf of The Vikings Sports Foundation, I would like to thank the police and crime commissioner for his support in funding the project. Engage will see coaches from Vikings engage local young people in targeting sport and physical activity interventions in their local community.
“We can’t wait to get under way with this key initiative.” ●
Karl Clawley, Runcorn Shopping City manager, and David Keane, Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner, shake hands after the PCC awarded funding to the Runcorn Youth Zone project based at the shopping centre
Castlefields Community Centre