Fourteen North Yorkshire and City of York charities and groups are celebrating this week after they were chosen to receive an award from a pot of criminals’ cash.
Earlier this year, North Yorkshire Police launched the 2011 Why should they? campaign by making £25,000 available to local organisations whose work makes a contribution to the prevention of anti-social behaviour and crime.
The money has been seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) by North Yorkshire Police’s Financial Investigation Unit.
Financial Investigator, Detective Sergeant Dave Edwards and DI Ian Wills with a vehicle seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act
Head of the unit, Detective Inspector Ian Wills, said:
Once again, we are extremely impressed at the extent of the fantastic work going on in our communities to improve life for local people.
It is an understatement to say it gives us great pleasure to be able to give something back to help keep these invaluable projects going. Especially when the cash has been taken from criminals.
The winners have every right to be extremely proud of their work and the contribution they make to keep our communities safe and improve the quality of life in our neighbourhoods. Each group deserve every penny, our only regret is that we cannot give them more.
The winners were chosen through a scoring system which took into account the number of people who would benefit from their project, the quality of the management plan to deliver it and the group’s previous service to the community.
POCA enables the police to take money off criminals which has been obtained through criminal activity.
Last year, the Financial Investigation Unit took £1.3m off North Yorkshire criminals. A percentage of this is given back to the force, which enables North Yorkshire Police to fund the Why should they? campaign.
Members of the public can help the campaign by reporting anyone they suspect of living off illegal earnings. Either call North Yorkshire Police on 101 or you can pass information anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111. You do not have to give your name and could qualify for a cash reward.
The winning organisations for 2011 are:
Joseph Trust Wood and Craft Workshop, York – £2,000
The Joseph Trust Wood and Craft Workshop have been awarded £2,000 to upgrade their woodwork shop. The charity, which is based in the village of Melbourne near York, provides training and support for disadvantaged young people.
The trust was established in 2005 after one of the founders, Joyce Dean, began fostering troubled 16-year-olds. She discovered that once they left her home at 8am, they had nothing to do and were left to their own devices until they returned home at 6pm. O
The main aim of the project is to provide important life, work and social skills for young people who may find themselves in difficult circumstances. The charity also offers training towards NVQ qualifications.
Previous projects include working with young people from Future Prospects, York, and Leeds Youth Offending Teams, as well as a group of young people with learning difficulties from York. as it was at 2006
The project is currently working with the City of York Council’s Danesgate Student Support Unit in York which provides education for children permanently excluded from school, or unable to attend school. Some students from Fulford School are also benefiting from the trust.
Although a York-based charity, they were unable to find suitable premises for their work in the city. Approximately four years ago they were offered five acres of land, on which they have built a craft and wood working workshop along with two poly tunnels, a stock of fowl and land for growing crops.
The trust is supported by the Home Office Youth Justice Board, Wetherby Young Offenders Institute and the Learning Skills Council.
The money will be put towards work benches, rewiring, dust extraction and ventilation units and tools.
Space 109 Homework and Cooking Club – Walmgate, York – £2,000
Space 109 was founded by a local, single mum to provide activities for residents of all ages in the Walmgate area of York. From toddler groups to music and craft groups, most of the activities are organised by 100 volunteers.
This invaluable community arts centre will receive £2,000 to help towards the expansion of their Homework and Cooking Club which is free to all children aged 8 to 16 in the local area.
A recent survey of community needs identified a demand for projects for young people which would help to steer them away from anti-social behaviour and any temptation to deviate into criminality. 92% of local residents said they would use the facilities, 98% believe young people should have somewhere to go and 88% believe more facilities are needed to keep anti-social behaviour and crime at bay.
By providing a positive and creative outlet, the club gives young people an opportunity to learn valuable life and social skills.
The homework club also means that children keep up with their school work, giving them a sense of achievement and reinforces the importance of doing well at school. The club also fosters skills in team working, self esteem, community pride and healthy eating with the youngsters obtaining a qualification in basic food hygiene.
The volunteers who work at the centre also benefit by developing their skills, leading to improved employment prospects.
Riccall Regen Centre, Riccall, Selby – £3,000
Riccall Regen Centre is a community centre which has provided a hub for local activities for the past 11 years. It serves Riccall and the wider area, including many villages in the north Selby district. The centre provides sporting, leisure and training facilities for individuals and groups.
£3,000 will go towards a project to upgrade and refurbish an outdoor play area for children and a new floor for the sports hall. This will ensure that children of all ages can continue to be offered good, indoor sporting facilities in the future. The centre is also home to the Selby For Youth Club and other youth organisations.
The opening of the Regen Centre in 2000 saw a marked reduction in anti-social behaviour and this has continued throughout the years ever since.
Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association Outdoors Club – Grassington – £2,040
The junior section of the UWFRA, known as the Outdoors Club, has received £2,040 for the purchase of ropes, harnesses and helmets.
UWFRA is the search and rescue team for Wharfedale, Airedale, Craven and Harrogate districts. The team is run entirely by volunteers who have a long and much-valued association with North Yorkshire Police, providing specialist search capability for missing, lost or injured people.
The Outdoors Club encourages young people to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors, learning invaluable life skills from activities such as climbing, caving, walking, sailing and camping.
The club has over 60 members aged between 12 and 18 with many staying on past their 18th birthday to become club leaders, develop their management and personal skills and eventually become fully fledged members of the rescue team.
The members come from all different backgrounds, from cities to isolated rural areas and some were previously involved in anti-social behaviour. By providing new and exciting challenges, they can focus on a more positive activity which brings huge rewards for themselves and the members and the local community.
Skipton Street Angels £250.00
Skipton Street Angels are a team of volunteers led by Skipton churches. They have been providing a friendly face on the streets of Skipton for the past two-and-a-half years.
Their role is to provide assistance to vulnerable people in Skipton during the hours of 9pm and 2am on weekend evenings, enable vulnerable people to get home and report any potential incidents to the police which may escalate into violence or crime.
They will use the cash to purchase a communications radio to keep in direct contact with North Yorkshire Police during their patrols.
‘Birdcage’ Behind Closed Doors Yorkshire Community Interest Company Ltd – Skipton – £1,000
Behind Closed Doors is a charity which provides support to men, women and children who have been affected by domestic abuse. Birdcage is the trading name of the charity. They will benefit from £1,000 to purchase art and craft materials to enable the Skipton branch of Birdcage to develop and run their own volunteering and workshop programme called Freedom Workshops.
These workshops provide an opportunity for volunteers from the local community to gain knowledge, practical skills and experience. They also encourage the long-term unemployed to volunteer with the aim of rebuilding their confidence with a view to returning to work.
The main aim of the project is to recruit, train and support a team of volunteers, particularly young people, from the Craven area, primarily Skipton and the surrounding towns and villages. It is hoped that these volunteers will gain benefit and support from participating in educational workshops, internships and drop-in sessions which will be held at Birdcage and other community venues on a regular basis.
The workshops aim to provide young people with a voice, increased self-confidence, opportunities to learn new activities and skills, gain a better understanding of other cultures and have a sense of being a valued member of their community.
Whitby Musicport – £1,960
Established in 2000, Whitby Musicport is a non-profit making organisation which provides live music and music education in the Yorkshire Coast and Esk Valley areas.
The group provides a creative and positive outlet for young people aged 8 to 18. Their current project, Whitby Sounds and the Musicport Youth Voices choir, was established three years ago and already the young members have developed significant performance and singing confidence and leadership skills.
They will receive £1,960 towards their latest project which is a drum-based performance group with participants drawn from local schools, youth clubs and the pupil referral unit.
Music is well documented as having a positive effect in increasing confidence, discipline and mental wellbeing.
1st Robin Hood’s Bay Scouts £190.49
The Scouts provide various activities for children aged 8 – 12, providing a safe environment in which to learn about morals, personal conduct, help in the community and to increase skills and self-esteem.
The group meets in an unheated hall and during the winter months it becomes very uncomfortable and unwelcoming for members, resulting in membership numbers dropping. The group will receive £190.49 to purchase a portable radiator to ensure the hut is warm and welcoming during the winter.
Scarborough and Ryedale Crucial Crew – £ 1,500
Crucial Crew has been providing primary school age children with skills for life for the past 19 years. With strong connections to North Yorkshire Police, this annual project is set up at a local site for two weeks, providing local year-six schoolchildren with the skills and confidence to help them stay safe. Learning how to deal with emergency situations and the consequences of crime and anti-social behaviour are just two of the subjects they get to grips with during the interactive and fun workshops.
The “Prison? No Way “ project, which forms part of Crucial Crew, will benefit from £1,500 to enable it to continue next year. The cash will go towards updating and providing the equipment needed to stage the realistic role-play situations. As well as live telephone lines which are used during the scenarios to add realism to the situations.
Kids into Cricket – Duncombe Park Juniors Cricket Club – £1,230.70
Providing a positive diversion for young people in rural Ryedale, the ‘Kids into Cricket’ project will receive £1,230.70. The project aims to build confidence, social skills and team working by providing youngsters with something to focus on and keep them occupied during the summer.
By introducing children to cricket at an early age, the scheme aims to encourage more young people to take up the sport and continue their interest into adulthood.
The aim is to have four junior teams up and running within three years, with an under 9, under 11, under 13 and under 15 team being entered into local leagues.
Kids into Cricket is an extension of the junior under 15 team which has been running for ten years. Last year the club expanded to introduce the sport to younger children and became so popular that in order to accommodate all the youngsters who wanted to join, the club needed to take on more coaches and buy more equipment.
North Yorkshire Youth – £2,835.90
North Yorkshire Youth is the modern face of a charity which dates back to 1940 and encompasses a Youth Development Team and Carlton Lodge Outdoor Centre in Carlton Miniott near Thirsk.
They have been awarded £2,835.90 towards their Inspire and Achieve 2012 project which has been developed in partnership with Hambleton and Richmondshire Pupil Referral Service. They work with young people who have become disengaged from mainstream education, leaving them vulnerable to crime and anti-social behaviour.
Through positive intervention using challenging outdoor activities, the project aims to develop each young person’s potential, giving them a sense of self-belief, confidence, responsibility and independence and helps to get them back on track for a more positive future.
The cash will go towards the cost of providing activities for 12 young people at Carlton Lodge, the cost of a subsidised mini-bus and driver, buoyancy aids and logbooks.
Ripon Community Link Walled Garden Scheme – £2,856
Established in 1990, Ripon Community Link Walled Garden Scheme is a registered charity that provides work placements and support services to people with learning disabilities, offenders and people with mental health problems, enabling them to develop as active citizens.
The Walled Garden Scheme provides work placements for adults from the local community, young people from Barnardo’s Springhill School and offenders, in partnership with York and North Yorkshire Probation Trust, the Youth Offending Team and Northallerton Prison.
Many of the people supported by the scheme have a combination of learning disabilities, mental health issues and physical disabilities.
The scheme helps to develop social skills, confidence and increased integration into the local community. Their services include the provision of a gardening service, maintenance work for parish councils, and a landscaping service.
The gardens situated at the former Bishop’s Palace walled gardens are also open as a free community amenity for the general public with over 3,500 visitors each year.
On site, the garden sells plants, hanging baskets, vegetables, fruit, craftwork, logs, Christmas trees and wreaths. The scheme also manages all planting and ongoing maintenance for Ripon in Bloom.
Over the past 15 months, the scheme has developed a successful partnership with the Probation Trust and Northallerton prison, providing up to 50 work placements for prisoners and offenders. This has freed up permanent staff to develop community work opportunities for people with learning disabilities.
The cash will go towards the cost of a partnership development worker, and materials to develop the visitor centre.
JustB Bereavement Service – £1,500
JustB is a bereavement support service and part of Saint Michael’s Hospice in Harrogate. The hospice was established in 1986 and provides free end of life care and bereavement support for the Harrogate district.
Established in 2009, to provide support for people of all ages, JustB has helped over 100 children and young people to live with the change that a person’s death has brought to their lives.
The hospice relies on grants, legacies and fundraising to raise the £3.9m needed each year to continue their work. The £1,500 funding will go specifically towards continuing the work of the children and young person’s services.
Many of the young people who receive support from our Bereavement Support workers are experiencing difficulties at home and with friends and peers. Their school work often suffers and they are in danger of being excluded or suspended from school, and may engage in anti-social behaviour and crime.
For example, a young girl was referred to JustB when she was caught shoplifting and her behaviour seemed out of control. Her mum had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and when the JustB children and young people’s worker met with her, she revealed her anger and confusion, even though her parents thought they had protected her.
With support from JustB, she became involved in decisions affecting her mum, including the funeral arrangements and choosing items to place in the coffin. She is now back in school and with the support of JustB, is coping with the effects of her bereavement.
Yorebridge Sports Development Association Ltd, Askrigg – £2,637
This Wensleydale fitness and outdoor sports facility will receive £2,637 to purchase secure storage facilities for their existing equipment and to purchase a variety of new sports equipment and chairs.
The centre was set up in 1998 to provide accessible facilities for a range of outdoor sporting activities. The centre is now run by volunteers and provides physical activity, leisure and learning facilities for 3,500 local people in the Wensleydale, Swaledale and neighbouring valleys.
Young people are an important group of members and the club want to attract new youngsters to the centre. However, due to its popularity, there is no longer any room for storing equipment and existing sports equipment is becoming worn and damaged.
Much of the communal space is taken up by storage, meaning there is nowhere for groups to mix properly and take part in certain activities. New storage facilities will mean more space can be freed up and the equipment will last longer. The chairs will replace existing equipment which has become worn and stained, creating an uncared for impression which many people find off-putting.
The centre hopes more young people will join as a result of the improved facilities, in particular, the junior body max sessions and boot camps which are run by a fitness trainer who specialises in mentoring and empowering young people.
The centre provides a positive diversion through sporting, social and team working activities and role models, providing young people with skills for life.