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£200k funding boost for Wigan and Tameside in latest rollout of community programmes for young people

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  • Community-led programmes supporting young people launched in Wigan and Tameside
  • Grants of £100,000 awarded to VCSE organisations in both areas to provide safe spaces for young people and families and boost local pride in communities
  • Wigan and Tameside are the latest boroughs to receive funding from Greater Manchester’s Violence Reduction Unit

Community organisations supporting young people across Wigan and Tameside have been awarded funding from Greater Manchester’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) to provide safe spaces for young people and families who are at risk of being impacted by anti-social behaviour (ASB) and to encourage pride in communities.

In Wigan, an alliance of five voluntary, community, and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations will receive a grant totalling £100,000. Wigan Athletic Community Trust, Leigh Leopards Foundation, One Message, Smart Body Sports, and Wigan Youth Zone will work together to form an alliance that will discourage anti-social behaviour by improving young people’s resilience and initiating new and positive relationships within the community in Worsley Hall. Wigan Council’s Community Resilience Team and Wigan’s new Safeguarding Adolescent Service will support the alliance in delivering the projects.

Four VCSE organisations in Tameside will also receive £100,000 to promote a joined-up approach to tackling ASB. Active Tameside, LEAP, Lindley Educational Trust (LET) and Primary Active Communities (PAC) – also known as ASPYA (Ashton St Peter’s Youth Alliance) – will build upon their existing ties with the local community to divert those who may be at risk of ASB towards mentoring programmes, youth work, community projects and programmes to empower young women in St Peter’s and Holy Trinity.

These are the latest boroughs in the city-region to receive funding from the VRU as part of its ongoing investment in community-led programmes, as outlined in Greater Manchester’s Greater than Violence Strategy.

Kate Green, Greater Manchester’s Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, said:

“Ensuring that young people across the city-region have the opportunity to engage positively with their local community is essential to building civic pride and making communities safe places for all.

“Providing support for young people and families, and positive alternatives to crime and anti-social behaviour, is key for reducing violence. By taking a community-led approach we will ensure that solutions to problems are designed and delivered with the community, for the community.”

Councillor Dane Anderton, Cabinet Member for Police, Crime and Civil Contingencies at Wigan Council, said:

“We’re incredibly pleased that five of our community sector organisations have secured this funding; enabling them to take a community-led approach to helping tackle anti-social behaviour in Worsley Hall.

“We’re proud to be engaging with projects that work directly with young people and their families to create positive change in the local area.”

Councillor Vimal Choksi, Tameside Council Executive Member for Towns and Communities, said:

“By funding these initiatives we are creating a safe space for young people in these Tameside wards, which is important in supporting them to succeed in life.

 “As a result, we are protecting them from the risks of anti-social behaviour and instead we are highlighting positive engagement and support available to them in their communities.”

Steven Eastwood, Wigan Athletic Community Trust’s Assistant Head of Community, said:

“We’re delighted to be supporting this new partnership with the VRU. We’ve seen first-hand the impact that community-led and sports-based interventions can have on reducing anti-social behaviour and supporting young people across the local community. This programme perfectly aligns with ours and our partners vision to work towards equality in life chances and communities. We look forward to working with the other members of the alliance to support the community of Worsley Hall.”

Dan Higgins, Head of Health and Social Outcomes at Active Tameside, said:

“It is fantastic to come together as an alliance to provide young people and their families the opportunity to access positive activity in a safe space.

“Our organisations are at the heart of the community and this initiative completely aligns to what we strive to achieve – providing local people the opportunity to grow within their local communities. The community-led approach will allow us to co-produce with the community which I feel is vital.

“What’s more, through this funding, it’s our desire to provide opportunities for volunteering experience so the young people of today have the opportunity to become the workforce of the future.”

Greater Manchester’s community-led approach to violence reduction means the VRU works closely with communities to understand the strengths, challenges, and needs of the community, and determine how local investments will be made. The VRU’s community-led programmes work by piloting the approach in a small geographical location in each local authority in the city-region. Greater Manchester worked with Manchester Metropolitan University’s Big Data Centre to help develop understanding of which areas could benefit from additional resource, using data and input from community members.

Alliances made up of VCSE organisations in Bolton, Manchester, Salford, Oldham, and Bury have already been awarded funds as part of the VRU’s community-led programmes. These alliances have had a positive impact in terms of multi-agency partnership work, referrals and access to support, improved confidence in reporting and targeted work around serious violence with young people. Community consultation is ongoing in other boroughs.

Greater Manchester’s VRU has worked with 10GM – a joint venture of VCSE sector infrastructure organisations in Greater Manchester – to drive forward this programme of work.

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