Charities, voluntary groups and local organisations benefit
Organisations across West Yorkshire continue to benefit from a police community project which has so far resulted in dozens of groups receiving more than £500,000 in grant money.
The West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s Safer Communities Fund is built up throughout the year by money seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).
These funds are then put into one collective ‘pot’ which is distributed out across the county to aid with local community safety initiatives.
A total of £567,000 has so far been awarded since the first donations were made and last week, a further 35 groups and projects were successful in their bids.
£154,984.03 was handed over at the third event at Thornhill Academy, Dewsbury, to support various initiatives.
One UK registered charity which received a substantial sum was Leeds-based Karma Nirvana which supports victims and survivors of Forced Marriage and Honour Based Abuse.
Project Manager at the charity, Anup Manota, explained how the £5,250 donation will be used to help tackle the issues of Forced Marriage and Honour Based violence within local schools.
“As part of a national initiative, supported by the Government’s Forced Marriage Unit, Karma Nirvana has recently appointed a Young Person Officer, Anna Kaur,” Mr Manota said.
“Her role will be to engage with schools across the region and across the country with bespoke lesson plans, literature materials, a certificate of commitment to each school and safeguarding duties on referrals.
“She will be providing talks in assemblies and classrooms to pupils, as well as presentations to teaching staff.
“The project is to raise awareness across school pupils and make them aware of the services that are available to them, or their friends, who may be in danger.”
During the latest round of fund allocation, 165 applications were made, totalling £885,892.
West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson said he was ‘impressed’ by the number of causes applying for money, attempting to make the community a safer place.
He added: “This money will allow these groups to help provide an invaluable service to our local communities as funding cuts continue to impact on charities and voluntary groups across West Yorkshire.
“This is the third round of my Safer Communities Fund awards with a specific equality and diversity theme this time and a further total of £155,000 has now gone to these projects across West Yorkshire.
“The sheer volume of applicants demonstrates just how crucial this fund is and I am pleased to be able to support such good causes to ensure our communities are safer and feel safer.”
The fourth round of grants will open for applications on 3rd November with local organisations able to submit applications for a sum up to £7,500.