• The latest list of successful applicants to the Commissioner’s Fund has now been finalised
  • This year, special consideration was given to projects affected by Covid-19
  • The fund draws on the Police and Crime Commissioner’s annual budget and has given financial help to more than 500 local organisations since it was established in 2012
  • PCC Martin Surl praised the many outstanding examples of how communities are working with the police to fight crime and anti-social behaviour.

A project to help young people in Gloucestershire get closer to nature is being backed by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

The Young Gloucestershire Environment Project is among the latest batch of organisations to successfully apply for grant aid from the Commissioner’s Fund.

Since it was launched by the PCC in 2012, the Commissioner’s Fund has supported more than 500 local organisations. For the latest funding cycle covering the next 12 months, 65 projects have had their contracts renewed alongside 36 new ones including:

  • Cheltenham – The Rock ‘The Rock Mental Health project’
  • Cotswolds – Cirencester Housing for Young People ‘Digital space project’
  • Gloucester – Gloucester Culture Trust: ‘JOLT: young creatives programme’
  • Forest of Dean – Goals Beyond Grass ‘Community Grass’
  • Stroud –  GL11 ‘Coffee, Cake and Chat’ aka ‘Feet, Food and Friendship’
  • Tewkesbury – Brockworth Link ‘Youth in action, reducing hunger’
  • Gloucestershire – Circles South West ‘Circles ReBoot’ (targeting adults convicted of online offences involving images of young children)

PCC Martin Surl said, “These are just the latest outstanding examples of how community groups and organisations have embraced new opportunities offered through the police and crime plan.

“This year, though, my mind has been on the many organisations who have struggled – and continue to struggle – due to outside pressures brought on by the ongoing pandemic. To try and help as many of those as possible, I decided to adapt the qualification criteria in order to aid the recovery from Covid-19.

“As a result, I have agreed to fund some projects that perhaps would not have qualified in the past. This was because I felt it important those organisations continue to operate for the benefit of their communities throughout the coming year”.

A green and pleasant county

The Commissioner’s Fund draws on the PCC’s Annual Budget to support schemes put forward by local people to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour countywide and make their communities safer.

All projects applying to the Commissioner’s Fund must qualify under one of the PCC’s Police and Crime Plan Priorities. The Young Gloucestershire Environment Project is eligible under, “A green and pleasant county” and “Young people becoming adults”.

Young Gloucestershire fund raiser Karl Gwilliam said, “Our aim is to help young people create deep, lasting and meaningful connections with the natural environment, a subject they are passionate about.

“We expect to work with around 100 each year, teaching and building skills that will help them contribute to their local communities like a plastic reduction scheme in school; organising a litter pick in a local park or an awareness raising event in a community centre. The programme will also include informal education around the dangers of inhaling nitrous oxide as well as picking up and recycling the canisters.

“We’ll be working with school groups, youth clubs, young people with special educational needs and disabilities as well as those on existing YG programmes. As well as improving their communities, they will reap the physical and mental wellbeing benefits of spending time outside”.

Grants awarded have in the past have covered a range of costs such as practical work, feasibility studies or research projects, group or partnership development, awareness raising, training, equipment and materials, marketing and promotion.

A full list of Commissioner’s Fund projects can be found at: https://www.gloucestershire-pcc.gov.uk/