Local community groups bid for a share of funding

This will be the third 'Your Voice, Your Choice' event that Gwent Police, the High Sheriff for Gwent and the Community Foundation in Wales have run.

The event gives local groups who are involved in promoting and supporting community safety, crime prevention, youth diversion as well as tackling drugs and alcohol abuse the opportunity to decide amongst themselves who should receive funding.

This year, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent Ian Johnston is making half of the money available from the Gwent Police Property Fund and the High Sheriff for Gwent Elizabeth Murray, is providing half from the Gwent High Sherriff's Community Fund.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Ian Johnston, said: "I'm pleased that money from the Property Fund is being made available to worthwhile causes in the community that help to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour. In addition to the money that I've already made available to organisations, the Your Choice, Your Voice gives another opportunity for people to bid for funding. What is so unique about this event is that it's the organisations themselves that decide who should receive the money."

High Sheriff Elizabeth Murray, said: "During my year in office, I have met many wonderful people, who as a result of receiving funding at the 'Your Voice, Your Choice' event in 2012, have worked hard to make a positive addition to the lives of others who struggle, with challenges such as poverty, addiction or criminal behaviour.

"I hope that following the 2013 'Your Voice, Your Choice' event, even more young people in Gwent will benefit from the good works done by several Gwent based charities."

In total, 22 organisations will be bidding to receive a share of the funding. Each group is allowed to ask for a maximum of £2500 each. They will each have just two minutes to present their case to the other organisations and explain how they would use their share of the money.

The other organisations attending will score each bid in turn. At the end of the event, those with the highest overall scores will receive the amount they asked for (up to a maximum of £2500) until all of the funding has been allocated.

Chief Constable Carmel Napier, said: "The Your Voice, Your Choice events have proven to be very successful over the last couple of years. In 2011, 15 groups received funding and in 2012 a further 20 groups received the money. At last year's event we saw the generosity of the community groups involved, as they each forfeited 18% of what they were bidding for, so that they could all receive some funding. The money has been put to good use in supporting these projects which help to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour."

Liza Kellett, Chief Executive of The Community Foundation in Wales, said: "The Foundation is once again delighted to be supporting this community event. Participatory grant-making chimes with our core purpose of strengthening local communities through supporting grassroots initiatives which make a real impact on people's lives. By devolving grant decisions to community groups it furthers our commitment to open, transparent grant-making, enabling local people, who understand best the needs in their communities, to prioritise solutions to local issues. One of the most heartening things about Your Voice, Your Choice is the vibrancy, energy and inspiration with which the groups deliver their pitch. It gives people an alternative way to communicate their message, a different means with which to connect people who care with causes that matter in Gwent."

The Gwent Police Property Fund is raised from the sale of property and cash seized from criminals, as well as the disposal of unclaimed lost property.

The Gwent High Sheriff's Community Fund, which is managed by the Community Foundation in Wales, is made available each year as a result of the High Sheriff organising charitable events during their year of office.