Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez: Cash to help communities fight drugs scourge

North Devon Gazette

Last week I began to invite community and voluntary groups across Devon and Cornwall to apply for funding from my latest round of community grants.

Organised community groups are critical to a crime-free society.

There are groups, initiatives and programmes driven by committed local people, who understand the challenges and opportunities in our neighbourhoods better than anyone else.

In last year’s round of community grants we funded, or part funded nine projects in Cornwall, to a total value of £26,087, and 13 projects in Devon to a total of £50,929.

In Cornwall, we helped the Dracaena Centre in Falmouth hire a youth justice worker, we helped Whole Again Community Garden in Penzance deliver horticultural workshops to young people at risk of offending and we helped St Columb Major Boxing Club purchase equipment which helps keep young people off the streets.

In Devon, the Youth Genesis Trust in Paignton were able to offer weekly sports sessions and activities for young people, Landworks in Dartington were able to offer more training workshops for people leaving prison and Beer Alston Football Club installed a new security system after they were the repeat victim of criminal behaviour.

For this round of grants all applications must show a commitment to raising awareness of the risks around drug use, one of my four priorities in the Police and Crime Plan.

Projects should focus on stopping young people and adults from becoming involved in illegal drug activity.

To tackle drugs effectively we must address both the supply of drugs into our communities and the level of demand for those drugs.

Examples of activity that may be funded by this grant include:

  • workshops with children and young people to inform them of the risks associated with illegal drug use and help them to make positive choices
  • activities that build relationships within communities and new opportunities for people at risk
  • counselling, advice and support for those involved in illegal drug use who finding it hard to manage their situation
  • provision of safe spaces
  • work that informs young people and protects them from drug dealers, whether online or in person.

This list is by no means exhaustive, and I very much look forward to receiving applications describing a range of activities that meet the aims of this grant scheme.

In Cornwall, the scheme will be administered by Cornwall Community Foundation and grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 are available.

In Devon, the scheme is being administered by Devon Community Foundation and applications are invited for grants between £1,000 and £10,000.

Application forms and eligibility criteria can be found at devoncf.com