PCC Angus Macpherson has announced a new grant fund of £50,000 for the communities of Wiltshire and Swindon.

The Police and Crime Commissioners COVID-19 Response Fund looks to support community and voluntary groups that have been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Who can apply

Local and regional organisations where most people benefiting from the grant live in Swindon or Wiltshire:

  • constituted voluntary or community organisations
  • registered charities
  • not-for-profit companies including community interest companies where a majority of the directors receive no payment from the company
  • parish and town councils (for activities to meet people's needs as a result of the coronavirus only)
  • churches and other religious organisations (for providing non-religious activity only).
  • branches of national organisations if there is:
    • a local management committee based in Swindon and Wiltshire
    • a local constitution
    • a bank account controlled by the local branch
  • Voluntary organisations with no constitution or bank account if:
    • linked with a constituted organisation or local statutory body (eg parish or town council).  The grant will be paid to that organisation.

Who can not apply?

  • Individuals
  • Statutory bodies such as city and county councils or health institutions

What you can apply for

You can apply for a grant towards:

  • Services you have set up or adapted to meet needs which people have because of the coronavirus situation
  • Keeping your organisation going during and after the crisis*
  • New projects or developments of your existing service*

*Our priority in making grants to help organisations keep going or develop are:

  • Small, grassroots voluntary organisations who serve people who are disadvantaged (socially, physically, geographically or financially)

AND

  • operate in communities and with people who cannot afford to cover the costs themselves.

AND

  • are modifying their services and financial plans in the light of the coronavirus situation.

Applications for a grant to replace lost income with no evidence of modifying services and plans are unlikely to be successful.

What can the grant pay for?

  • Any reasonable costs related to meeting needs which people have because of the coronavirus situation
  • Costs to help keep your organisation going during and after the crisis, provided you are serving people who are disadvantaged (socially, physically, geographically or financially) in a financially deprived community
  • New projects or developments of your existing service, provided you are serving people who are disadvantaged (socially, physically, geographically or financially) in a financially deprived community
  • (Note that grants towards capital projects (buildings and equipment) are up to £5000 only and you must already have most of the rest if the total cost is more than £5000)
  • Grants cannot be to provide money to individuals or families.

Funding available

The Police and Crime Commissioner has made £50,000 is available for the communities of Wiltshire and Swindon. 

Priority will be give to applications that assist the PCC in achieving his three of his main priorities as set out in his Police and Crime Plan:

  • Priority One - Prevent crime and keep people safe
  • Priority Two - Protect the most vulnerable people in society
  • Priority Three - Put victims, witnesses and communities at the heart of everything we do

This funding will form part of the Wiltshire Community Foundation's Wiltshire and Swindon Coronavirus Response Fund.

Projects funded through the COVID-19 Response Fund

Organisation and amount funded Summary

Open Blue Trust

£4,995.00

The Open Blue Trust provides support to families with pre and primary age children on Traveller site near Chippenham.

The Trust has been taking a double-decker bus to Thingley Traveller site for over 10 years and have developed good relationships with the families there.  They have improved the families view of the importance of education, introduced IT skills and provided a carer and toddler to help pre-school children develop vital skills to underpin their education.

During the Coronavirus restrictions they have been unable to take the bus but have kept in touch with families using social media, providing advice and signposting where required. They have also been making and delivering activity packs to families with pre and primary school aged children every three weeks, adhering to social distancing.  This grant will enable them to continue to work in this way until guidance allows for the bus visits to resume.

Prior to lockdown the bus was attracting 40 plus children at every visit. Supporting letters (Health Visitors, Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living and Wiltshire Council Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service) show the excellent level of engagement of the children and families in what is a very isolated and wary community.

Wiltshire Youth for Christ

£5,000.00

Wiltshire Youth For Christ (WYFC) serves young people in Devizes, Trowbridge and surrounding areas. This funding will enable WYFC to undertake detached youth work across the county in towns and villages, engaging with young people to provide opportunities for them to share and process their experiences and concerns.   This will be done using an accessible pop-up café (operated in line with social distancing guidelines).

The project will be delivered through two Senior Youth Workers, a bank of trained and DBS checked local volunteers, and a purpose-built mobile pop-cafe/van.  The aim is to listen to and engage with children and youth; provide a safe place to enjoy time with others at a time when so much remains closed; and to support them to flourish now and as they transition back to full-time in-school education.

There are many concerns about the impact of coronavirus and lockdown on young people currently as well as on their long-term well-being (physical, mental, educational, relational and economic).  Many young people are bored, fearful, anxious, disappointed, isolated and disenfranchised as a consequence of lockdown. They do not currently benefit from the stability of a school day, access to in-school pastoral support, regular engagement with peers and adults in the same ways as normal. Children and young people know best what they are experiencing. The pop-up cafe provides something attractive and fun for them to do, whilst enabling meaningful conversations to happen, that will focus on addressing their needs.   The aim is not only to provide young people with a safe place to 'hang out' but importantly to help them share their experiences and feed their views and support needs in to local planning e.g. via CEMs, schools and other voluntary groups.

Young Melksham

£5,000.00

Young Melksham have been delivering services to young people in Melksham since 2011.  This funding will enable them to provide detached youth work through trained Youth Workers, reaching out to support vulnerable young people, including those who are particularly disadvantaged, those with additional needs and those not observing social distancing rules.  The detached youth work started in response to the Coronavirus situation when centre-based activities were suspended and remote support was offered to meet the needs of these vulnerable young people. Counselling has also continued and been scaled up to cope with demand and outreach workers also promote the online and virtual support offer.

The need for the project has been supported by Melksham Town Councillors, local residents and the Police, with calls to extend this work, particularly during the day, and to focus on the Skate Park in Melksham, to prevent arrests for inappropriate social distancing and drugs.  Now lockdown is easing there is still a need to educate and inform young people about the current rules and social distancing measures. This is alongside general safety information for vulnerable young people e.g. drugs, internet safety, dispute resolution etc. Workers will operate in pairs for an average of 5 hours a day, 6 days a week for 12 weeks. The hours will be used flexibly to meet needs and demand. The workers will not just focus on the Skate Park but will visit all the locations that young people congregate in Melksham.

Youth Adventure Trust

£6,000.00

The Youth Adventure Trust works with teenagers from difficult family backgrounds who have been struggling at school, including many who have been excluded and also young carers who are looking after poorly parents, providing early intervention and prevention support.

This grant is being used to help it restart its activity programme.

Its director of fundraising Louise Balaam said the activity days in October would be part of the process of helping the young people get back to normality. The group has come up with Back To School Bingo, a card that has a series of milestones such as setting an alarm and getting bags ready, to be ticked off. Each young person who fills their card in will get a prize.

The RISE Trust

£2,750.00

The RISE Trust is a charity working with young people in north Wiltshire and has said this grant is vital to fund its work running sessions in town centres and park, something it says is badly needed in the wake of the pandemic with young people suffering from isolation and anxiety about returning to school, as well as being at risk of drink, drugs and misadventure.

The Trust's teams are working in Chippenham, Malmesbury, Cricklade and Purton and have been spending extra time in Calne supporting young people affected by last month's collision in which four young men died.

Across north Wiltshire the youth teams have been meeting children as young as ten and young adults aged up to 21 at their nightly sessions.  They are there to offer sound advice on issues such as drugs and drink as well as specific incidents. They spoke to young people in Malmesbury about the risks of  jumping into deep water at Daniels Well and to groups in one area who had been lighting fires on a sports field.

The RISE Trust has children's centres in Calne, Royal Wootton Bassett and Chippenham funded by Wiltshire Council, covering Corsham, Malmesbury, Cricklade and Purton. Its youth teams are out in Malmesbury on Tuesday, Chippenham and Cricklade on Wednesday, Calne and Purton on Thursday and Chippenham and Calne again on Friday.

The SMASH Youth Project

£5,000

The SMASH Youth Project is a charity which provides one-to-one mentoring for young people aged between 13 and 19 who are either struggling at home or school.

Project director Moira Leitch said: "Most of the children that come to us are not able to cope with the demands of everyday life.

"All children will be referred into to us as a result of behaviour they have displayed - most of the behaviour is classed as socially unacceptable but there will be a reason for it and it is our role to help them understand themselves, like themselves and find some direction."

Swindon STEP

£4,251

Swindon STEP, which is based in Nythe, helps children with emotional behavioural problems.

It works with young people aged from seven to 18 who are struggling with issues such as mental health, behavioural problems, anger management, or who come from homes where there has been domestic abuse or drug/alcohol dependency. STEP delivers a ten-week course to provide young people with coping strategies to help boost their self-esteem.