Apply for Cash Seized from Criminals

The clock is ticking and applicants only have until 5pm on Monday June 30th to submit their bids for a share of the cash from Gwent PCC Ian Johnston's Partnership Fund. The grant scheme is funded by the proceeds of crime awarded to the police and from the sale of unclaimed found property. It's open for bids from charities, voluntary organisations and community groups involved in activities that have a positive impact on their communities.

Groups interested in bidding for a share of the funding must be able to demonstrate the positive impact their project will have on the communities they serve, whilst at the same time contributing to delivering the Commissioner's priorities for Gwent which include reducing and preventing crime; taking more effective action to reduce anti-social behaviour and protecting people from serious harm. Groups will be able to apply for funding up to the region of £10,000.

Previous applicants to the Commissioner's Partnership Fund have already made a positive difference to the lives of people in their communities.

Thanks to their grant of £5,000 last year, BRfm Community Radio station in Nantyglo have been able to provide diversionary activities in every aspect of media for up to 50 young people in the community who were disengaged or not in education, employment or training (NEET).

BRfm have spent the money on delivering informal workshops at their Radio Station and Media Centre in Nantyglo to teach the young people a range of new skills in broadcast and media and to keep them off the streets. This includes new skills in presenting, production and recording for both Radio and TV.

"Mainstream education isn't for everybody so at BRfm we try to use an alternative method of education and provide young people with skills they wouldn't otherwise have and which will hopefully enhance their education or employment prospects," explains BRfm Chairman, Robert Ball.

"I think this project has definitely helped reduce anti-social behaviour in the community. We're taking people off the streets and we're trying to channel their energy into something positive. We're taking away their potential to get involved in criminal activity and from going down the wrong path. Some of the young people we work with have been referred to us from various organisations.

Seeing these young people, many of whom have been given no hope of succeeding at anything in life, achieving so much through the form of media is what makes me so proud of this project. We give them the confidence that they can achieve anything while they are here which, in turn, hopefully prepares them for bigger and better things in the outside world."

He added: "The knowledge of where the money has come from helps as well. It shows them that crime doesn't pay and it's making sure that the money is being pumped back into the community for positive use. All of our service users are aware of where the funding comes from and it's what allows us to do what we do with them. Without this funding, they wouldn't have these opportunities."

Urging community projects to bid for the funding, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Ian Johnston, said: "It's fitting to see money recovered from criminals going back to benefit local communities and many projects in Gwent such as this one have already made a positive difference to their communities thanks to this funding scheme.

We recognise the vital role these projects can play in complementing the work of Gwent Police and other local partners in the community. My message is simple - if anyone has a great idea for a project which can make a positive difference to their community - we want to hear from them."

The closing date for all applications is 5pm on Monday June 30th. To find out more about how you can apply to the Partnership Fund or to download an application form, please visit the Gwent PCC website http://www.gwent.pcc.police.uk/commissioning/commissioners-partnership-fund/ or email the Commissioner's office directly on pccpartnershipfund@gwent.pnn.police.uk