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Last night, Wednesday 19 October, local clubs and groups that support the community of Newton-le-Willows came together and discovered which of them had successfully won their bids in a participatory budget project called Rootin’ For Newton.
Community groups in the Newton-le-Willows area have had a few weeks to get their applications in, bidding for up to £2,000 to support their local projects. The funding pot was filled using funds seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act and significant contributions from Torus and the Community Safety Partnership.
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 has been a pleasure to see residents and local groups in Newton-le-Willows coming together, wanting to make their community a safer and better place for their families and friends to live in.
”The participatory budgeting process is an effective method of engaging local residents – involving them in both expressing what the local priorities are, as well as shaping and delivering local services and initiatives. The whole project has been supported by community partners and we are very grateful to Torus, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, UK Health Security Agency (formerly Public Health England) and St Helens Borough Council for their assistance.”
Jan Calland, Regional Director at Torus, said: “Rootin’ For Newton has offered an exciting opportunity for community groups to receive much needed funding to support crime prevention, promote diversionary activities and have a positive impact upon anti-social behaviour.
Torus is really pleased to have worked in partnership with Merseyside Police to be able to contribute to this initiative, supporting grass root groups who do amazing things that make a difference across our neighbourhoods. We’re looking forward to seeing the positive impact being achieved thanks to the funding for the winning projects.”
Councillor Jeanie Bell, Chair of the Safer St Helens Executive and St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, said: “Following the widely successful Parr-ticipate programme, which saw 21 community groups and organisations receive funding to continue their vital work – from sports clubs and nurseries to rough sleeper intervention, refugee support and youth engagement – it’s been great to see similar local groups and initiatives in Newton-le-Willows benefiting from a boost in funding. I am eager to see the positive impact this has in the community.
“I am pleased that we are able to contribute £7,500 towards this fantastic initiative, which we are glad to support together with Merseyside Police, Torus and our Safer St Helens Executive partners.”
The winning bids, as decided by the audience last night, are:
Domestic Abuse WA12
Domestic Abuse WA12 is a self-funded community group based in Newton Le Willows which supports survivors of domestic abuse. The funding will assist with providing healing pathways and therapies for the victims and survivors, along with providing workshops to support recovery from crime and trauma.
Earlestown Athletic Junior Football Club
Based in Newton Le Willows, Earlestown Athletic sought funding to deliver school holiday camps for children aged 8 to 14 years and invest in new specialist training equipment to support their new academy from ages 4 to 6, which they hope will keep the young players involved through to the age of 18 years and above.
Alexandra Jane School of Dance
AJS Dance is a dance school based at Newton Girls and Boys Club alongside Crownway Community Centre. The group bid for funding to assist towards the purchase of equipment for dance classes, workshops with West End performers and money towards the dance school Christmas party 2022 for the children.
Earlestown THRIVE is a committee created to tackle the regeneration of Earlestown town centre and funding was sought to increase the community spirit and build the footfall for the existing businesses. It was proposed that a community sports event is also organised to promote the local sports clubs, charities and associations available to young people in the area.
Friends of Lyme and Wood Country Park
This group has recently built a woodwork shop and were seeking the tools to run woodwork classes. The shop has been created to refurbish existing and create new park benches, picnic tables, bird baths, hedgehog boxes. The woodwork classes will be open to community groups, youth clubs, youth groups, schools and adult classes.
Inspire to Aspire Autism Support
This group was seeking funding to promote a youth open drop-in service at the Sea Cadets, proposed for 2023 that will provide activities such as film making, photography and gaming, for young people in Earlestown and Newton-le-Willows.
This group sought funding to help increase its profile and reach more vulnerable children, young people and families that need assistance relating to a family break up, living in foster care and adoption, illness, special needs, poverty, and emotional and financial upheaval. The funding will be used to purchase games, food and other related materials to appeal to a greater age range.
This funding bid was made to enable further youth work to continue by targeting 7- to 16-year-olds to have a safe, creative area in which they are able to be their true selves and express their individuality. The funding will be used towards their bi-annual residential trip to London, where young people get to increase their social awareness by taking part in theatrical activities and experience the culture of a major city.
Newton Girls and Boys Club
This group bid to deliver sessions to young people to help them learn basic life skills, DIY and help them identify a career path. The youths who are hoping to attend the sessions have been consulted throughout the process and during these sessions the attendees will also be educated on the risks and how to avoid getting involved in County Lines, as well as improve their lives in general.
Newton Le Willows Sports Club
The club is in the heart of the community, providing activities for young people. The funding will be used to purchase a new CCTV system to help deter anti-social behaviour and create a more secure environment for those using the club.
Newton Storm ARLFC
Newton Storm will enhance its training for local youths aged 4 and upwards. The club provides a safe environment to train, play and grow friendships, and the funding will enable the club to give the local youths an opportunity to stay safe and educate them around the risks of County Lines whilst allowing them to train and discourage the wrong life choices.
Newton Le Willows F.C.
NLWFC bid to purchase a camera so they can share games highlights from their Matches for Members project, with their digital communications channels. The club hopes that this will engage the wider community and hopefully encourage more attendees, reducing anti-social behaviour.
Parr Sports And Community Centre
The centre is in the heart of Parr and already provides a safe hub of activities for the young people of Parr. The club sought funding to open the centre to youths from the Newton Le Willows community, so they can also get involved. Funding will also provide an activity programme during the Easter half term when there are fewer facilities open to engage young people.
The Newton Le Willows Sea Cadets is a local unit that provides Sea Cadet training to young people, during which the cadets are taught about discipline, practical skills and focusing on themselves. The funding will allow every cadet who attends to be able to attend away courses despite the barriers that these youths deal with in life.
St James Beavers, Cubs & Scouts
St James Beavers cubs and Scouts bid for funding to help attract more young people to guide them and teach them life skills, keeping them off the streets and at risk of becoming involved in anti-social behaviour.
Starlites Morris Dancers
Starlites Morris Dancers are based in Newton Le Willows and have a girls’ group from toddlers to adults. The funding bid will be used to target even more young people and young adults to help keep them off the streets and encourage them to disengage in anti-social behaviour and divert them from the risk of becoming involved in County Lines.
‘Teen Kicks’ HAMMA Gym
HAMMA gym is based in St Helens has a range of martial arts classes available covering all age groups. The gym bid for funding to deliver classes to youths in Newton Le Willows, helping to reduce anti-social behaviour, protect vulnerable persons by giving them the skills and confidence they lack, and for the youths to have a safe environment to develop these skills through physical activity.
WA12 Radio is an online community radio station run by volunteers and it encourages adults and young people to develop communications and IT skills and to develop confidence whilst doing something they enjoy and reducing their vulnerability. The funding will enable them to develop and expand the station and further strengthen community ties.
Chief Superintendent Zoe Thornton, Head of Local Policing said: “This project has been a brilliant example of how partnership working can improve community resilience and the whole process has helped strengthen relationships between residents, the police and our community partners.
“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. The successful bids will undoubtedly make a big difference to the community, and I am proud to see our local policing team in St Helens driving these projects with steely determination and the vital support of our partners.”