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Home > Dorset Chamber News > £100,000 granted to programmes tackling causes of crime

£100,000 granted to programmes tackling causes of crime

Posted on: 03/08/2020

Fourteen organisations across Bristol, Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Southampton and south London have been chosen to receive a share of £100,000 in their work tackling the causes of crime.

With retail crime on the rise, including an increase in the threat of violence and the use of weapons, Southern Co-op’s Safer Neighbourhood Fund aims to reduce these offences.

The regional co-operative was overwhelmed with the number of causes who applied for the grant and has chosen 14 to receive up to £7,500 each including five Bournemouth based programmes run by Community Alcohol Partnerships, Dorset Reclaim, Faithworks Wessex, Hope Housing Training & Support, and The Bourne Foundation.

Jessica Hughes​, Southern Co-op’s Community Investment Manager, said: “None of our colleagues should have to face threats of violence so we are putting a lot of effort into tackling crime from every angle – causes, prevention, reporting and justice.

“The programmes these grants will be funding range from rehabilitation schemes for ex-offenders, youth projects for those identified as at risk, probation services, the homeless and/or those escaping addiction. Many of these people just need a chance to make a positive change in their lives.”

The Safer Neighbourhood Fund has been co-ordinated with the help of Neighbourly, a giving platform that helps businesses make a positive impact in their communities by donating volunteer time, money and surplus products.

In Bournemouth and Portsmouth, Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAPs), are local partnerships which aim to tackle alcohol harm among young people, with a particular emphasis on preventing underage drinking. One of CAP’s priorities is alcohol education, to ensure that young people are equipped to make the right decisions about a range of issues, including drugs, anti-social and criminal behaviour.

This funding will enable them to identify young people who are most at risk of being involved in criminal activity and encourage them to become Young Health Champions, to lead health awareness and social actions campaigns in their local communities. These will focus on the dangers of alcohol misuse and its link to increased likelihood of criminal activity.

Kate Winstanley, Director of CAP, said: “We know that young people’s drinking can put them at increased risk of physical and social harm. This very welcome funding from the Safer Neighbourhood Fund will enable us to support a further 120 young people across Bournemouth, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight who are at risk of becoming involved in crime or violence. They’ll not only increase their own awareness of the risks of underage drinking but will be empowered to spread the message to their peers and communities.”

Dorset Reclaim will be running a programme later this year to encourage ex-offenders to work with the charity to gain new skills, have some certificated training, and gain from the experience of volunteering with a local community based charity. Previous experience has shown that working in a team and being part of a positive organisation working for local people can help change outlooks and expectations and therefore future behaviour.

Ray Tovey, Chairman of Dorset Reclaim’s trustees, said: “We are very hands on and provide a variety of roles to suit all aspects of practical work and help people get back into a routine of work/volunteering which will benefit the community as a whole.

“The funding will allow us to provide PPE and access external courses for the individuals to help them with future employment and boost self worth. We hope to involve local partners who may want to refer someone they think will benefit.”

The Faithworks Wessex team in Bournemouth is running a range of COVID-safe creative training opportunities to help those escaping homelessness and addiction. This includes both life skills such as cooking and managing your money, and skills for employment such as carpentry, furniture restoration, and linking in with a pilot apprentice scheme with the hospitality sector.

Alistair Doxat-Purser, Faithworks CEO, said: “We know that many who have been in temporary accommodation this year because of COVID-19 have struggled with boredom and purpose. Our goal is that people ‘thrive rather than just survive’ as they break free of crime, addiction or homelessness – but to do that they need two things: purpose and connectedness.

“So, everyone who comes to us is not just a trainee but is linked up with a Community & Friendship team made up of local volunteers who help keep them buoyant when life feels a bit tough. The funding from Southern Co-op makes this joint approach possible by opening up new training routes sooner than we thought was going to be possible!”

The Bourne Foundation is launching a project entitled ‘Fulfill Your Potential’ aimed at 1,000 11-18 year olds in the North Bournemouth/Kinson area – one of the most disadvantaged areas of the UK.

The project will work with small groups and incorporate many practical measures to encourage teenagers, from the most vulnerable backgrounds, to fulfil their potential – helping them choose the right way to behave and by helping them make positive choices. The project focuses on training these teenagers to recognise what is positive, it develops their self-esteem and it drives them to build good relationships whilst reaching for the stars.

Caroline Gobell, Business Director at The Bourne Foundation, said: “Through this initiative, The Bourne Foundation aims to support vulnerable young people to improve their behaviours and choices. We will do this by encouraging good peer to peer rapport, increasing physical/mental wellbeing, encouraging positive contact with the local community, helping resolve anger and friction in friendship groups, increasing employability/raising relevant skill-sets and, overall, encouraging young people to ‘aspire’ to fulfil their potential and to become the best version of themselves.

“We are incredibly grateful for this financial support in the local area, so that together we can really work towards making a huge positive difference for these young people and for the local residents.”

Hope Housing Training & Support is a local housing charity providing supported housing in Dorset for 98 homeless adults. It helps its clients to deal with often complex issues including homelessness, ex-offenders, abuse, addictions, unemployment and mental health problems through an intensive programme of counselling and group support, sports, music and art therapies which empowers them to make positive life choices with the vision of moving forward into employment and independent living.

With the funding Hope Housing will be implementing a Safer Neighbourhoods Programme aimed at tackling the sources of local crime and preventing further criminal activity. The charity will be engaging those in the organisation that have previously offended and are now focussed on rebuilding their lives and those who are at risk of reoffending. This will look to address the sources of repeat offending and work to reduce this, providing a learning opportunity for all.

Jane Joy, Funding Manager for Hope Housing, said: “We are so very grateful for this funding. It is our vision that we can help our clients to make positive life choices and ultimately thrive in the community once more. This programme will not only help reduce the risk of our clients reoffending, but it will strengthen the local community as a whole, making it a safer place for everyone.”

To find out more about Southern Co-op and its co-operative principles, visit southernco-op.co.uk/.

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