PCC visits youth charity after recently awarding grant through his Community Action Fund
A charity which ensures young people have access to tailored support to help rebuild their lives after alcohol or drug abuse has received a community fund award from the police and crime commissioner.
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) is helping to fund charities which support young homeless people to learn new skills and take the first step towards rebuilding their lives – directly delivering priority four of the Police and Crime Plan.
Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson visited The Amber Foundation, in Trowbridge, after the group was recently awarded funding through the PCC’s Community Action Fund.
The organisation provides young people in crisis with a temporary home and a tailored programme of support around four main areas of focus: employability, independent living, health and wellbeing and positively engaging with communities.
Analysis of referral data showed that 80% of young people who use the service have a recent history of dug and/or alcohol abuse.
During his visit, Mr Wilkinson met Jake who referred himself to The Amber Foundation after dropping out of school at age 17, before finding himself homeless and turning to drugs and alcohol.
While staying at Amber Jake took part in various workshops to develop his skills and build confidence before completing a higher education access course. He has now started studying Anthropology at Bristol University and house shares locally.
PCC Philip Wilkinson said: “It was an honour to meet Jake and hear firsthand how he’s turned his life around. He was starting to fall into the very dangerous cycle of excessive drinking and drug use, which often leads to more serious crimes. However, with the support of Amber his future now looks bright.
“Jake’s story is proof that anyone who is involved with drugs or county lines can get support and rehabilitate. My office is investing in these services to show our commitment to providing young people with alternative positive pathways, whilst also tackling the impact of drugs on communities.”
Jake said: “If it hadn’t of been for the support of Amber, I would never have even thought about college or university. I am very thankful to the organisation for having faith in me and steering me back onto the right path.”
Laura Fenson, Fundraising Manager at The Amber Foundation said: “We are delighted to have received funding from the PCC’s Community Action Fund. This donation will help to fund Amber’s work supporting young people experiencing homelessness and unemployment. As a direct result, The Amber Foundation will be able to provide a number of tailored workshops.
“The funding will specifically contribute towards a Team Leader who will deliver Amber’s holistic and tailored programme of support. They are pivotal to the success in what we do and act as confidante, guide, counsellor and teacher, working hard with each young person to help them re-build their shattered lives.”
Find out more about the community groups funded by the PCC’s Community Action Fund, the eligibility criteria and how to apply for future funding here.