Community projects benefit from criminals’ cash

18 Dec 2012 @ 3.52 pm
| News

Winning bids for the 2012 Why should they? campaign

Issued by North Yorkshire Police

Twelve North Yorkshire charities and groups are celebrating this week after they were chosen to receive a cash award from a pot of criminals’ cash.

They include York Playspace Chill-out zones which receives £3,000 towards its work providing much needed youth engagement in the deprived areas of the city.

Earlier this year, North Yorkshire Police launched the 2012 Why should they? campaign by making £25,000 available to local groups and charities whose work makes a contribution to the prevention of anti-social behaviour and crime.

The money has been seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act by North Yorkshire Police’s Financial Investigation Unit.

Temporary Chief Constable Tim Madgwick of North Yorkshire Police, said: “Once again we have seen some outstanding work going on in our communities for the benefit of local people.

“It’s very humbling to see how many people give up their own time to improve the quality of life for others. Each and every one of these organisations deserve every penny of their award.

“Our officers work tirelessly to deprive criminals of their illegally earned income and the ability to give some of it back to our communities is very rewarding for the force.”

The Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, Julia Mulligan added: “I am really pleased that we are able to do something positive with cash seized from criminals. We know that criminal behaviour can blight a community which makes it so satisfying that these groups are able to take advantage of the proceeds.

“The quality of the bids which were put in for these grants was incredibly high and I know that it has been a difficult decision choosing those who will benefit this year. There is a broad range of organisations and projects across the county receiving the money which I am sure will bring great rewards for those living in the areas.”

The winners were chosen through a scoring system which took into account the number of people who would benefit from their project, the quality of the management plan to deliver it and the group’s previous service to the community.

The Proceeds of Crime Act enables the police to take money off criminals which has been obtained through criminal activity.

Since 2008, North Yorkshire Police’s Financial Investigation have confiscated over £5.5m in cash and assets from criminals

The force is able to fund the Why should they? community grants from the money it receives back from the Government which is a small portion of the amount confiscated by the force.

2012 is the third year North Yorkshire Police have funded community projects, with £74,000 being donated to 50 local groups or charities so far.

Members of the public can help the campaign by reporting anyone they suspect of living off illegal earnings. You can report them anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111. You do not have to give your name and could qualify for a cash reward.


The winning organisations for the 2012 awards

Skipton Extended Learning For All (SELFA) £2,000
Children’s charity SELFA will received £2,000 for their holiday workshops scheme which will provide free or assisted places for 75 children and young people in the Skipton area.

A need for activities during school holidays was identified through the Community Safety Partnership and local consultation which showed anti-social behaviour rises during holiday periods.

The charity aims to improve the lives of vulnerable, disadvantaged and disabled children and their families who live in the Skipton and Craven. This helps to reduce isolation and increases social inclusion through access to enrichment and holiday activities.

The activities run from 8am to 6pm each weekday during the 12 weeks of school holidays. The charity also runs a range of after-school clubs during term time with regular activities led by professionals including art workshops, music sessions, performing arts, film club and sport workshops. The charity works closely with schools and community organisations to achieve this.

This project will improve the skills of young people, helping them to engage more with their learning which in turn will help to reduce anti-social behaviour and youth offending.

The money will pay for tutors in various subjects and transport costs to and from venues for young people.

Grassington Playgrounds Association £200
Grassington Playgrounds Association works to improve the playgrounds in the town, including the skate park at Town End Pasture which was installed in the mid 1990s. The park is a well-used facility for young people in Grassington and the surrounding areas, as well as by visitors to the area. The nearest skate park being over 10 miles away. .

The money will go towards replacing the fencing around the park which was highlighted in an inspection as needing replacement to allow the continued safe use of this very popular community facility.

Jennyfield Styan Community Centre Management Committee – Games Fest £2,628
The management committee already provide positive activities for vulnerable young people, old people and all members of the local community to encourage them to engage in meaningful activities that will improve their health, social interaction and well-being.

The money will be used to fund Games Fest, which is a two day games console competition allowing young people to compete for major prizes. Internet Safety Workshops are also provided at the event to raise awareness of the dangers of inappropriate use of the social networks and media.

The intention is to improve relationships and organise more projects for young people who live in the Saltergate neighbourhood. The Games Fest will be delivered in partnership with community development workers from Harrogate Borough Council and youth workers from North Yorkshire County Council, offering an opportunity to participate in a large scale event which, if successful will become an annual event.

Around 60 young people will benefit from the scheme.

Ripon Walled Garden Community Link – Community Composting Scheme £2,840
Established in 1990, Ripon Community Link Walled Garden Scheme is a registered charity that provides work placements and support services to people with learning disabilities, offenders and people with mental health problems, enabling them to develop as active citizens.

The Walled Garden Scheme provides work placements for adults from the local community, young people from Barnardo’s Springhill School and offenders, in partnership with York and North Yorkshire Probation Trust, the Youth Offending Team and Northallerton Prison.

Many of the people supported by the schemehave a combination of learning disabilities, mental health issues and physical disabilities.

The scheme helps to develop social skills, confidence and increased integration into the local community.

In the last year, Community Payback delivered over 10,000 hours to the Walled Garden. On minimum wage this equates to approximately £60,000 of free labour to this important and valuable local charity.

By developing their composting area, the charity will be able to expand the range and scope of what they are able to deliver for the community. Including taking more garden waste to turn into compost to sell. Offenders will take ownership of the scheme with specific roles and responsibilities, supported by our staff and York and North Yorkshire Probation Trust .

Scarborough Borough Children’s University £1,500
Around 150 children and their families in the Scarborough district will benefit from informal learning sessions by tutors and student mentors at Hull University’s Scarborough Campus. The scheme is aimed at raising aspirations and self esteem in deprived pockets of the district.

Tutors and University Student mentors work directly with children and their parents in informal learning experiences to break down barriers and misgivings formed from previous negative learning experiences to ensure that hidden skills and talents are nurtured.

The children will graduate at a Children’s Graduation Ceremony held at the Scarborough Campus. Participants will be encouraged to sustain their learning and return to the university to graduate to higher levels of the Children’s University.

The Fire Place, Stokesley “Animates” project £800
The Fire Place or “Drop-In” as it is more commonly known, was set up over three years ago in response to anti-social behaviour in the town of Stokesley. It currently has between 25 and 35 members aged from 6 to16.

The project is the only voluntary run youth club in Stokesley and is based at the community room at Stokesley fire station where they are given use of the premises free of charge.

The club provides a multitude of activities to engage young people and nurture their social and learning skills. The money will fund their latest project to produce animated and real-life films on a range of community safety issues.

Topics will include anti-social behaviour, gangs of young people congregating, criminal damage and the impact it can have on individuals and communities. The dangers of fireworks, stranger danger, hoax calling and cold calling.

The aim is to teach young people new skills, improve their existing skills, make them think about issues which affect the quality of life for local people and to educate other young people by offering the films to schools as part of their social responsibility learning.

The young people will be taught how to create a story and script, editing and technical skills. They will be helped by a professional artist who already gives his time as a volunteer at the club.

The £800 grant will go towards creative materials and software.

Hambleton and Richmondshire Community Addiction Service (HARCAS) £3,000
A registered charity since 1987, HARCASdelivers a wide range of counselling, support and harm reduction functions throughout Hambleton and Richmondshire Districts. Employing both volunteer and paid staff, the organisation works with individuals and partner agencies to reduce the impacts of drug and alcohol misuse and gambling addictions.

They provide regular one-to-one counselling and group therapy and recovery sessions along with a range of drop-in services. The purpose being to help and support individuals improve their quality of life while reducing the impact of their problems on the community and other statutory or voluntary agencies.

Recovery is promoted by providing advice and knowledge which enables individuals to learn new skills and experience, obtain recognised qualifications and if necessary, secure employment and become more self-supportive.

This in turn provides those people with a sense of personal worth, a feeling which many haven’t previously experienced. It also helps to integrate them more fully in our communities and promotes their inclusion as valued members of society.

£3,000 will go towards construction and gardening equipment for HARCAS’ Environment Recovery Team’s “Recovery – a work in progress” project, which will improve facilities at Northallerton and District Angling Club.

This project will provide an opportunity for individuals to improve their inter-personal and communication skills. It will teach practical skills and the ability to work within and be part of a team. It will help them to learn how to accept instruction, promote a learning desire and possibly teach them supervisory skills as team leaders. It will also provide them with a better understanding of the environment and promote recovery.

Marrick Priory Outdoor Education and Residential Centre £3,000
The cash will go towards the organisation’s No Limits! Releasing the Potential of Vulnerable Learners project. This will provide tuition and transport for ten, one-day, outdoor activity programmes for 12 children aged 12 to 14 who are from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The centre, which is based in the heart of Swaledale, has been providing outdoor activities for young people since 1970.

When young people attend the priory they take part in an exhilarating programme of outdoor activity including rock climbing, canoeing, beck scrambling, high ropes, team challenges, abseiling and zip-wiring over the River Swale.

Participating in such activities has shown repeatedly to help build a child’s self confidence and self belief. Being part of a team makes children aware that they are not on their own, that there are others who also share their fears and that it is possible to overcome such fears in a safe and supportive environment. The activities provide an encouraging and supportive atmosphere and every child gains a true sense of achievement and pride.

Ryedale Folk Museum – Community Payback – Creating a difference £2,920
The money will go towards the museum’s unique construction project to build a glass furnace shelter. The structure will be built by participants in the Probation Trust’s Community Payback scheme.

The museum has a strong history of achieving personal and community change with the Probation Trust who began working with the museum in 2005 and have continued to build on this relationship since, assisting with every aspect of the museum.

The offenders help with everyday maintenance but experience shows that to give the offenders the bestchance to change their behaviour is to provide them with high quality projects where they feel a real sense of ownership. An example of this being the completion of the museum’s Iron Age Roundhouse.

The participants were involved in the entire process which brought up numerous construction problems along the way but because their contribution was as equal as everyone else involved these became shared problems and shared solutions.

The project produced impressive behavioural changes in the way in which the participants interacted with volunteers, each other and with visitors to the site. They became much more respectful, the tone and manner in which they spoke to each other and the way in which they undertook the work was much more enthusiastic.

They became passionate about what they were doing and the project gave them employability skills, team skills and a sense of community and self-worth.

For further information click on the link to see a film about the construction of the Iron Age Roundhouse.

Scarborough YMCA £1,500
The organisation has a proven track record of helping to divert young people away from crime and anti-social behaviour.

The cash will go towards improvements to the lighting system at the charity’s community theatre which offers opportunities that are not available anywhere else in the town

Many thousands of people use the facilities each year and the YMCA is a vital asset to the people of the town.

Being located in the town’s Castle Ward and close to the town centre, the YMCA is well-placed to divert people of all ages from anti-social activity, through the provision of a variety of activities.

Each YMCA is an independent charity and managed locally, it relies on fund raising to keep going.

York Playspace Chill-out zones – £3,000
Providing much needed youth engagement in the deprived areas of York, the three zones or youth clubs provide a safe haven and essential emotional and practical support for 250 young people across York.

The zones cost £43,500 per year to run, 75% of which is funded from other sources. The money will go towards the remaining shortfall to help continue the project.

Many of the children who attend the zones face problems including low self-esteem, behavioural and anger problems, drug and alcohol dependent parents, parents in prison, loneliness, abuse and long term exclusion from education.

The Zones are one of the few places they can go to be supported and listened to and be themselves. The Zones give the children life skills through activities including our aspiring project to help them to grow their own food to turn into a main meal.

The Zones give young people something positive to do instead of hanging around the streets and becoming involved in criminal activity and anti-social behaviour. They are provided with a hot meal, which may be the only hot meal they get that day and which they plan, cook and prepare.

They also receive help with maths and English to equip them with key educational skills.

Selby Globe Community Cinema £2,000
This community cinema not only provides entertainment where there would otherwise be none, but provides contact, stimulation and education for a wide range of community members.

From a monthly film society night to a matinee with a hot meal for elderly people to cinema workshops for families and children in deprived areas and school holiday screenings. The project provides social interaction for people who would otherwise be excluded due to the cost and location.

The cinema also takes its services into the heart of communities who cannot travel to them. To continue providing this service, which is the only cinema in the area, the project will receive £2,000 towards the rent for town hall screenings.

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