Hard-working groups handed cash in bid to make city safer for all

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CHARITIES and community groups working with victims of crime and helping to make the area safer have been handed cash to keep going.

Portsmouth community groups tackling crime have been awarded over £300,000 by Hampshire’s police and crime commissioner Michael Lane.

More than 30 organisations received a windfall from the commissioner’s Safer Communities fund, which aims to support victims of crime and reduces offending.

The grants – which range from £3,000 to £15,000 – will support a variety of organisations, including youth projects, mental health support groups, counselling services, and youth projects.

Mr Lane, the police and crime commissioner for Hampshire, said: ‘These vital services provide a lifeline for the people they work with.

‘They support frontline policing by helping prevent people form taking the wrong path or being increasingly vulnerable.

‘This reduces demand on our hard pressed officers.’

Heart of Portsmouth Boxing Club received over £10,000 to expand its Fight Back project, which empowers victims of crime through boxing and exercise.

Quinton Shillingford MBE, who is known as Q and founded Heart of Portsmouth more than 10 years ago, said: ‘We’re so grateful.

‘We can reach more people in the community with the support from the police and crime commissioner.

‘We have 14 people on our course at the moment, and we will help anyone who wants to join us.’

Portsmouth Abuse and Rape Counselling Service – Parcs – received more than £14,000 to support children showing signs of harmful sexual behaviour.

The grant will fund a support worker who will work in the community to help the most vulnerable children.

Kim Hosier, centre director, said: ‘The grant will allow us to help incredibly vulnerable children, who are at risk of hurting themselves and others.

‘No one was providing this sort of service.

‘We have had children as young as five in need of this service, and their family didn’t know what to do.

‘The project will fill that gap.’

Mr Lane said: ‘With limited resources and over subscription of bids for the initial funding round earlier this year, this second grants round has offered organisations a further opportunity to seek financial assistance.’

The fund received over 68 applications totalling more than £785,000 – far more than was available.

Details of a third round of grants will be made public later this year.

For more information see hampshire-pcc.gov.uk