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Bedford community projects win funding to help tackle serious youth violence

Alert message sent 25/08/2020 18:14:00

Information sent on behalf of Bedfordshire Police


Two community projects have won thousands of pounds worth of funding to help tackle serious youth violence in Bedford.
 
The Bid4Better Participatory Budgeting scheme gave seven community projects based in the Kempston, Kingsbrook and Cauldwell areas the opportunity to battle it out to win up to £15,000 worth of funding that was donated by Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway.

Participatory budgeting is a decision-making tool where the community of a particular area get to have their say over where part of a public budget should be spent to combat an issue.

The seven projects were showcased as part of a virtual voting event held on Saturday afternoon (22 August) and around 40 people living in these communities took part and voted for the project they thought would have the most impact.

The winning project was Youth Time, which won its full bid of £10,011. The project was set up by dance students from Wixams Academy, to highlight knife crime from a young person’s perspective.

Their plan is to perform a contemporary dance which depicts the story of Isaac Stone, who was killed in Bedford after being stabbed in 2014 at the age of 19.

They will provide 12 free sessions to a number of schools in Kempston, Cauldwell and Kingsbrook, along with Isaac’s sister Channitta Lendore from Dynamic Decisions, which works with young people to educate them about gangs and knife crime.

These sessions will involve hour-long discussion’s around Isaac’s story, the effects and consequences of his death and how young people can get support with regards to knife crime.

The students also plan to hold a youth conference for young people, parents and members of the community discuss issues and ideas on tackling knife crime. 

The second project to win the remaining funding of just under £5,000 was The Show, a TV community show which aims to ensure that young people have the chance to speak about their environment through discussion and debates.

The funding will help buy more equipment for the team of young people working on the show, which will help give them a sense of purpose and develop their skills.

Chief Inspector Mo Aziz, from the Bedford community policing team, said: “I’d like to congratulate the winning projects – both are great ideas in helping us tackle serious youth violence issues in these particular areas and I look forward to seeing the progress they make.

“This process was a great success and to have seven brilliant projects involved was fantastic to see. It was really important to give people living in those areas the opportunity to choose the projects they think will have the biggest effect on helping to solve these issues.

“Thank you to everyone who participated and to our Police and Crime Commissioner for donating the money to these projects.”

Tackling serious youth violence is a priority for Bedfordshire Police and last year there was a nine per cent decrease in incidents of serious youth violence in the county, which equates to 200 fewer victims.
 
For more information or support about getting out of a gang, please visit the Bedfordshire Violence and Exploitation Reduction Unit’s website.
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Julie Allen (Police, Communications Officer, B)

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