Cash boost for Harborough group set up to support children and young people

A group set up to support children and young people across Harborough has received a crucial cash boost.

Thursday, 30th January 2020, 11:09 am
Updated Thursday, 30th January 2020, 11:12 am

Harborough District Children and Young People's Charity (HCYC) was founded to help “vulnerable and isolated” youngsters and young adults throughout Market Harborough and South Leicestershire.

The organisation has now been handed almost £4,000 to help it to “improve the health and wellbeing, pride in identity, relationships and skills of children and young people from 5 years to 25 years”.

HCYC has received the grant of £3,697 from Leicestershire's Violence Reduction Network.

The money is part of over £50,000 being ploughed into community groups across Leicestershire to help stop young people falling into violence and knife crime.

The Violence Reduction Network (VRN) is a multiagency initiative dedicated to stamping out youth violence across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

The venture has awarded grants of up to £5,000 each to 13 community and non-profit organisations.

They deliver mentorship-based programmes and initiatives which build the confidence and skills of young people at risk of becoming embroiled in violence.

The VRN's Community Fund amounts to a total of £57,006.

The cash will fuel opportunities to help and intervene in the lives of young people aged up to 25 at risk of becoming victims or perpetrators of violence.

Grace Strong, Director of Leicestershire's VRN, said: "Communities want to play a role in our response to youth violence and are often the best placed to do so.

“This funding will empower grassroot community groups to make a difference to the lives of young people through guiding them to make safer and positive decisions."

She added: "We are keen to invest in these groups and work collaboratively with them to develop community responses to youth violence.

“We know from our review of the evidence-base that mentoring is a promising approach. “We will therefore also be supporting these projects through providing learning and development opportunities relating to community mentoring".

Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach, chair of the VRN, said: "Every incident of violence or knife crime is one too many.

“As a team, we have launched a number of new projects to give young people the best chance of leading positive and safe lives. “Where young people are already involved in violence, as victims or perpetrators, we will support them to take a new direction and break the cycle of violence.”

Lord Bach stressed: "This funding recognises the valuable and powerful role our community partners can play in efforts to tackle youth violence.

“It is vital we continue to view young people affected by knife crime as victims in need of protection and support."

The VRN was launched last August following a successful application to the Home Office's Serious Violence Fund.

The network was given an £880,000 grant.

Further grant funding worth £880,000 has secured its work until March 2021.