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Community fund gives £100,000 boost to organisations making a difference

Hya Chayah

Hyacinth and Lauren from Chayah Development Project

A community group has been given funding to tackle anti-social behaviour and gang and drug-related crime.

Chayah Development Project has been awarded £34,440 to help fund its project BOSS – Broxtowe Outreach Support Service – which will help young people in disadvantaged communities in Broxtowe. 

It aims to tackle anti-social behaviour, gang and drug-related crime, improving wellbeing and strengthening relationships between the community and the police.

As part of her Make Notts Safe plan, Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry created the Make Notts Safe Grants to empower third sector organisations like Chayah to deliver key priorities within the plan.

Their project is one of four that has received a share of £98,790 to support disadvantaged areas and communities.

Hyacinth Francis-Watson, regional manager at Chayah Development Project, said: “A lot of our young males have low self-esteem and self-worth, so it’s about empowering them and letting them know that they are valuable. 

“They don’t have to do what their peers are doing and it’s good to stand out and do right than mix in the crowd and do wrong.”

A young person known to their services is a prime example of the importance of building relationships within communities and why funding like this is vital.

He was working as a self-taught builder and through Chayah joined their Gentleman’s Club Mentor scheme to gain additional support and confidence.

The aim of the scheme is to use mentor guidance to equip young men with essential life skills and offer advice and support on a whole range of issues, depending on the need of the service user.

Through this programme, this young person was paired with an architect and property developer which gave him the opportunity to further his professional skills within his trade.

Without Chayah signposting him to this scheme and matching him with a mentor who could really guide him professionally, his confidence has been able to flourish.

Peter Milward, development officer at Chayah Development Project, added: “We wanted to develop a supportive, innovative early intervention project to empower young people to break free from the negative cycle of street mentality and promote positive community and wellbeing.”

The three other organisations awarded funding include Al-Hurraya, Ashfield Voluntary Action and Broxtowe Women’s Project.

Al-Hurraya has been awarded £24,000 for its project Fighting Crime – Repairing Communities, which will provide a diversionary programme within the Radford and Hyson green area, focusing on preventing child criminal exploitation, serious organised crime and post code wars.

Asad Fazil, CEO and founder of Al-Hurraya, said: “We are going to use this funding to give local young people and families a meaningful way to spend their time by giving them free gym memberships, boxing sessions and educational workshops all hosted by Rebels gym who we have worked closely with for years.

“We’re also going to be offering these young people the opportunity to buddy up with our lived experience mentors.

“Through giving them this facility that they can use as much as they need for free, and having a mentor to talk to, we really think this crime reduction initiative is going to improve the lives of many local young people.

“The areas we are targeting experience high levels of deprivation with many families living below the poverty line where they normally would not be able to afford gym memberships.”

Ashfield Voluntary Action has been awarded £30,350 for its project Respect, Believe, Become.

The organisation will be working alongside Nottinghamshire Police to empower people in Ashfield with lived experience who have changed their lives for the better to provide guidance to others who are vulnerable and steer them towards more functional lives.

Teresa Jackson, CEO of Ashfield Voluntary Action, said: “This pilot programme aims to support a small number of people who find themselves caught in a downward spiral of issues that bring them to the attention of the police.

“The aim is to work with a peer mentor to build trust and confidence in the programme and to turn their life around. The peer mentor will guide them through various methods to combat their issues, increase confidence and build their self-esteem. By replacing old negative habits with new positive habits, it is hoped to remove mental barriers to progression and to start them on a positive future.

“The support from the boxing club will help people to remove themselves from potential harmful situations and to defend themselves. This programme will focus on techniques for anger management and emotional release, whilst at the same time introducing goal setting and regime implementation, which will start the journey towards improved physical and mental health and well-being.”

Broxtowe Women’s Project has been awarded £10,000 for its project Grassroots, working closely with the Nottinghamshire Football Association to raise awareness and increase understanding of domestic abuse and healthy relationships.

Colette Byrne, CEO of Broxtowe Women’s Project, said: “Broxtowe Women’s Project is thrilled to be funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner to enable us to deliver domestic abuse awareness sessions within grassroots football in partnership with the Notts FA and the Community Police. 

“We hope that working directly within the community will help to change attitudes that prevent and reduce violence against women and girls.”

These grants had six thematic areas including youth diversion, hidden harm, hate crime, rural crime and communities.

Commissioner Henry said: “Delivering my Make Notts Safe plan is not only one of my key responsibilities, but also one of my biggest passions.

“That is why I have created these grants, to make sure the people of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire have innovative, preventative measures in place to give them the support they need to stay on the right path.”

Posted on Tuesday 21st February 2023
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