Grass-root charities working with vulnerable young people potentially at risk of involvement in serious violent crime are set to benefit from a significant cash injection.
The West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) has now secured £285,168 in additional Home Office funding.
It specifically supports small charities affected by COVID-19, which are delivering critical frontline services to address the causes.
The money comes from £750m previously identified by the Chancellor for the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector.
Our ability to address serious violence at grass root level is reliant upon the support of those partners that are truly engrained and immersed within our communities.
This is why small and micro charities play such a fundamental role in our response to tackling serious violence, particularly among young people.
The significant economic backlash of COVID-19 has hit these charities more than most, particularly as they seldom have the resilience of larger organisations.
It is crucial that we are able to sustain their support if we are to make ground in changing behaviours and attitudes towards serious violence locally and nationally.
I absolutely welcome this extra funding to help our vulnerable young people to avoid the type of lifestyles that lead to serious violent crime.
It is a lifeline at a time of widespread economic uncertainty, however, we know that more financial assistance is still required if we are to stem the tide on this societal problem.
Already £279,674 from the first Government allocation has been used to fund 40 micro charities across West Yorkshire.
This includes diversionary activities from creative hubs, music and theatre to educational initiatives with mentoring and coaching.
It is undoubtedly making a difference and I am grateful for the dedication and commitment that these charities are continuing to demonstrate under very challenging circumstances.
Their efforts are contributing to the reductions we are seeing in violent crime within West Yorkshire, which in turn, is helping to keep people safe and feel safe.
Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner