PCC secures funding for children’s charities in Sussex


Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne has this week secured extra funding from the Home Office to help local children’s charities use early intervention tactics to tackle the recent rise in anti-social behaviour.

Total crime across Sussex increased by more than 17 per cent in the first three months of lockdown, rising from 12,127 reports in February to 14,521 by the end of May. Anti-social behaviour continues to be one of the top offences and, although reports of lockdown breaches also fell under this category, local charities have noticed a negative change in some young people’s behaviour.

PCC Bourne has been working with public sector organisations to tackle this problem within the newly established Violence Reduction Partnerships (VRPs).

Mrs Bourne has secured £1,760,000 from the Home Office over the last two years for the VRPs, bringing together Sussex Police, Local Authorities, Public Health England, the NHS and others to successfully pinpoint and address the early indicators of violent crime.

Three partnerships have been set up in Brighton & Hove, East and West Sussex to adopt a public health approach, including embedding tactics such as: early interventions to help vulnerable young people and educate them about the consequences of criminality; training staff in schools and hospitals; and working with local community organisations.

Mrs Bourne announced today that she has secured a further £74,000 of Home Office funding for local children’s charities who are providing vital early intervention to young people identified as being ‘at risk’ of becoming involved in more serious criminality.

Eight charities across the county will benefit from grants of £2,000 or more. One of the recipients is local Brighton scheme, The Deans Youth Project. They have experienced an increase in reports of youth anti-social behaviour in and around Rottingdean and Saltdean as lockdown measures have relaxed.

They intend to use the £5,000 of allocated funding to increase engagement with young people. Local Councillor and Trustee of The Deans Youth Project Dee Simson said: “We are very thankful and very excited to receive this money which will enable us to organise detached youth work across the Deans. It will give our youth workers the opportunity to safely engage with young people out on the street and in the parks. It’s vitally important we maintain contact with them until we are able to resume centre based work.”

Mrs Bourne said: “In Sussex, we have adopted a more dynamic approach to tackling serious violence with the establishment of our Violence Reduction Partnerships, targeting the areas where our interventions are needed the most.

“I’m delighted that we have been successful in securing this extra funding for charities who care about young people’s futures and want to work with us to reduce the impact that anti-social behaviour and serious violence is having in our local areas.”

VRP Manager for Sussex Police, Tanya Mackay said: “This additional funding will provide much needed support to some of our smaller charities, which have struggled with the impact of Covid-19 and the increased demand on services post-lockdown. These small providers work with some of the most vulnerable in our communities and play a key role in reducing serious violence across Sussex.”

Notes for editors

The full list of funding recipients:

West Sussex

Electric Storm Youth - A church-based group in Lancing that provides detached outreach and a youth club for children and young people. (£3,700)

The Juno Project - supporting vulnerable and marginalised teenagers across West Sussex, who struggle with mental health challenges and/or anti-social behaviours, and are at risk of dropping out of school, employment or training. (£21,206)

Brighton & Hove

Art in Mind - Raising awareness of mental health issues through art. This will be for children whose anxiety/mental health has been severely impacted by COVID. (£4,106)

Deans Youth Project - They have a youth club on Warren Road providing activities, trips and events. They also provide outreach youth work sessions and have access to a wide range of developmental opportunities for young people. (£5,000)

WBC Cares - local charity that provides access to physical exercise including gym tuition and boxing classes. They will be supplying kit bags for new starters and supporting the re-opening of the gym once lockdown has eased. WBC will also undertake outreach in and around Hove lawns in response to the significant increase in youth anti-social behaviour and crime in recent weeks. (£15,800)

East Sussex

Project Rewild - will deliver six half day events, each four hours long and each in different areas of Hastings. Through these events they aim to connect, educate and inspire young people of Hastings with outdoor activities. (£2,776)

Gizmo the DIY Theatre Company - provides positive activities in a dedicated centre for children and young people aged 5 to 18 years who are disadvantaged by low incomes, poor housing, low academic achievement and isolated due to economic hardship and or disability. Hastings and Central St. Leonards. (£2,882)

Priority 1-54 - project will support two cohorts of young people, those transitioning from primary to secondary in September 2020 and those returning to education. The programme of work will include online workshops, creative Urban Arts Transition Summer Camp and a peer-to-peer Transition Ambassador Programme. (£19,250)

Total: £74,720