Christmas comes early with a funding boost for community groups in Parr
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On Wednesday 8 December, local clubs and groups that support the community of Parr came together and discovered which of them had successfully won their bids in a participatory budget project called Parr-Ticipate.
Community groups in the Parr area have had a few weeks to get their applications in, bidding for funding to support their local projects. The £38,000 funding pot was filled with £10,000 from Torus and £10,000 from the Community Safety Partnership. The remainder has been sourced from a Crime Reduction Grant provided by Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner and Merseyside Police’s Community Cashback Fund which helps fund community projects across Merseyside using cash seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Each applicant faced an audience made up of members of the community and presented their ideas, with the community deciding who was successful.
Chief Inspector Paul Holden of the St Helens Community Policing Team said: “It’s been fantastic to see the Parr community coming together, wanting to make their community a safer and better place for their families and friends to live in. The whole process has helped strengthen relationships between residents, the police and our community partners.
“The successful bids will undoubtedly make a big difference to the community. With so many bids being made, there were going to be ideas that weren’t funded but whilst this is disappointing for the applicants, the experience has still been positive because of the strong community networks that are being built and the participatory budget process being transparent and empowering for everyone involved.”
Jan Calland, Regional Director at Torus, said: “Torus is committed to growing stronger communities and working in partnership with those who live in those communities to achieve this.
“We were delighted to be able to contribute funding to this important initiative and it was wonderful to attend the Parr-Ticipate event and listen to everyone talk so passionately about their community projects.
“We are looking forward to seeing how the winning projects develop and have a positive impact on crime and anti-social behaviour, making our communities a better place to live and work.
“We look forward to the next step and continuing to work with the police and the community to ensure we protect vulnerable people and build community resilience.”
Councillor Jeanie Bell, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, said: “Having seen the successes of similar schemes in other areas, and knowing the love that people, neighbourhood groups and organisations in Parr have for their community, some wonderful projects will result from Parr-Ticipate following this great launch event.
“As Chair of the Safer St Helens Executive, I am pleased that our partners have agreed to contribute £10,000 towards this fantastic initiative, which we are glad to support together with Merseyside Police and Torus.”
The winning bids, as decided by the audience on the night, are:
Parr Sports and Community Centre - £2000
Funding will go toward covering the costs of 40 young people attending throughout February half term. Two new additional and qualified coaches, food through the day. They offer activities such as boxing, football, tennis, rounders, volleyball, hockey, dodgeball etc.
Teardrops - £2000
Funding to run workshops for both primary and secondary children educating them about knife crime, anti-social behaviour, drink, drugs and homelessness. Targeting the young people on the verge of school exclusion, actively becoming involved in criminality.
Coming Together Hub - £2000
They have volunteers reaching out to homeless and vulnerable members of the community. Hosting mental health support groups, promoting health and wellbeing. Completing football therapy at Parr Sports and Community Centre. Funding will pay for pitch hire, kit, equipment and expenses.
Ever Evolving - £2000
Target those suffering with mental health issues, and providing life skills, independence skills, road safety and internet safety. Funds to purchase a minibus to transport service users to and from the centre.
No Duff CIC - £2000
Offering free 4-day personal safety training sessions to 64 women and girls – staffed by experienced former police and military personnel.
Parr Arts and Crafts Ladies - £400
Funding will be used for February half term summer camp to offer sessions through the week for young people to attend and integrate with the older generation. Funding will be further used toward materials and will be reaching out to as many young people as they can.
Café Laziz - £2000
They are a refugee and asylum seeker charity aiming to integrate into society. They create cultural food dishes made by asylum seekers and refugees in the area to gain invaluable work experience. Funding will be used toward installing a fit for purpose new kitchen in the Derbyshire Hill Family Centre, Parr.
People Empowered - £2000
This charity steers children who are at risk of crime, violence and anti-social behaviour away from those activities. The funding will be used to offer aspirational wellbeing workshops out of school hours to 200 young people from Parr.
Sexton Avenue Allotments - £2000
The allotments were recently damaged in an arson attack and funding is to replace damaged tools and build a new container shed to store those items.
Think FAST Academy - £1920
Martin Murray (Former Pro-Boxer’s charity). Seeking funding to identify risk individuals and divert them away from crime. The academy offers boxing sessions alongside classroom work on substance abuse, county lines, exploitation, crime and anti-social behaviour. Offering 2 six-week programs for 12 young people.
Lansbury Make It Happen - £2000
School charity organisation supporting Lansbury Bridge School (SEN school in Parr) Seeking funding to improve IT for young people using the facility.
Haydock & St Helens Bloom - £2000
Community group which creates planters, signage and makes areas looks greener and cleaner. They have recently completed a similar project in Haydock and would like to create the same in the Parr area by planting bulbs, plants and installing planters and plaques.
Portico Vine ARLFC - £2000
Amateur rugby league club seeking funding to build a new club house and furniture. Several young people from Parr area play at the club.
Veterans of Saints - £1200
A small group of veterans who work alongside children and grandchildren. Funding toward a new shed and polly tunnel to protect red crested newts and complete further environmental and conservation projects.
Wildcard – Amateur Boxing Club - £2000
Based at Parr Sports and Community Centre. 10 years’ experience in the heart of Parr offering boxing to people of all levels and ages. Funding will be used toward providing 70 young people and adults 3-nights-a-week, 4 weeks of February with free boxing.
Precious Little Ones Nursery - £2000
They are a nursery offering behavioural management support for parents of poorly behaved children; removing the mistrust of police and other professionals. Funding toward buying books and equipment and 6-week course for suitable parents.
Connect Together - £1920
Based at Thompson Centre in Allanson Street, Parr. The group is set up to assist children and young people with wellbeing and life skills. Funding will be used for 16-week course commencing in January 2022.
Blackbrook Royals - £2000
Amateur rugby club seeking funding to improve gym equipment, additional training nights, keeping young people positive and healthy.
RAF Cadets (969 Squadron) - £2000
Royal Air Force Cadets in St Helens seeking funding toward an additional 28 young people joining in 2022. Purchasing uniform, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and subscriptions.
Positive Life Workshop - £2000
Community group specialising in virtual gaming to improve wellbeing and mental health. Seeking funding to buy 2 further VR headsets, room hire and 2 sessions in Parr for 60 attendees.
Geek-Retreat - £560
Awarded the remaining funding from the pot as the highest placed remaining group. The group is described as a retreat for geek culture. They were seeking funding to create a partition at their venue to host a private space for counselling sessions for people with autism or other vulnerability.
Chief Superintendent Zoe Thornton, Head of Local Policing said: “This project has been a brilliant example of how partnership working can improve community resilience by empowering residents and improving social capital. All bids needed to meet the criteria of helping either reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, protect vulnerable people, or support victims of crime and anti-social behaviour.
“It is particularly satisfying seeing the success of the project, knowing that some of the money has come from the Community Cashback Fund and therefore money that has been seized from criminals is being put back into the community.”
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “What a fantastic event! Local community groups really understand their areas best, so it was great to listen to their ideas for how we could invest this money most effectively to improve the lives of people in Parr.
“There were some brilliant bids. Particularly at a time when many community organisations have been hit hard by funding cuts, I have no doubt the successful projects will be able to use this money, some of which has been taken out of the hands of criminals, to great effect to make a difference for local people.
“It was also great to see some of the Crime Reduction Grant I allocate to Safer St Helens to be used to support this event.
“My thanks go to everyone who made Parr-Ticipate such a success and I look forward to seeing the positive impact these initiatives will have on the whole community.”