Eighteen charities across Greater Manchester aimed at preventing vulnerable young people getting involved in serious violence have been supported with a funding boost totalling £201,000 in Government grants.
The emergency, one-off grants from the Home Office will ensure the charities can continue their work despite the financial challenges of Covid-19. This includes a wide range of potential costs including making up for the loss of income, paying for PPE and hygiene measures, funding for computer and audio equipment to aid moving support and activities online, rent and building running costs, games, art equipment and stationary.
Following a bid to the Home Office from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, the money has now been allocated to the Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit (VRU).
Its aim will be to specifically support small and “micro” charities which have an annual income of less than £100,000 a year. It will cover the period of April 1 to October 31, 2020.
Dan Diamond, who leads Greater Manchester’s VRU, said: “We’re pleased to support these charities to help them continue their vital work in our communities. There is a wide range of groups that have received funding, ranging from those incorporating quite traditional approaches to more niche ones.
“The charities include food banks, emotional support providers, support for minority groups, food services, group work sessions, online services and engagement, young people outreach, welfare rights, counselling, sports development and street-based youth engagement to divert gang activity and involvement.”
Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, Bev Hughes, said: “The Covid-19 restrictions have made life particularly difficult for young people who were already marginalised and vulnerable. They lost the structured social contact they had in their communities with local charities, youth groups and clubs who normally provide somewhere safe to go and provide support.
“While these small charities have carried on working, doing what they can online and face-to-face following Covid-secure guidelines, it has been tough for them and they have had to invest in equipment, PPE and new ways of working – all while dealing with the heightened pressures in young people’s lives.
“This funding is very welcome and is a vote of confidence in the work of these charities and Greater Manchester’s Violence Reduction Unit.”
The VRU was established in October 2019 and brings together health, police and criminal justice, education, youth justice, and the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector to address the underlying causes of violent crime and work together with communities to prevent it.