WIGAN communities are set to benefit from a new £600,000 fund to empower young people and keep them out of trouble.
The Youth Aspiration Fund, announced by Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd, will support work with vulnerable children and young people at risk of offending or risky behaviour.
Youth groups and organisations are invited to bid for a slice of the money for projects aimed at keeping young people out of the criminal justice system and developing their life skills.
A range of funding is available from small grants up to £5,000, to investment in major projects over £100,000.
Tony said: “We want to keep young people out of the criminal justice system and we all have a responsibility to give them the support to make the right choices in life.
“Young people are all too often written off as the causes of problems in our community when what we should be doing is working with them, giving them a voice, and listening to their views and ideas on how to make our communities better and safer.”
Mr Lloyd already funds the police cadets scheme which runs across all divisions of GMP. The scheme is based in some of the most deprived areas of Greater Manchester and equips young people with the tools of good citizenship, respect and confidence. It is a successful example of the type of work he wants the Youth Aspiration Fund to deliver.
He said: “I’ve met and been involved with many groups and organisations who are doing great work with young people who are at risk of offending – giving them support, guidance and importantly giving them the confidence to take control of their life, turn away from a life of crime and reach their full potential.
“It’s precisely this work that I want to harness and this funding will provide much needed to support to allow this work to thrive – empowering communities to play a role in giving our young people the best start in life.