The South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit have awarded funding of £200,000 to community groups supporting young people.

Thirteen groups from across Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield have received funding from the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Fund to support initiatives and projects aimed at preventing young people from becoming involved in violence.

In Barnsley, funding has been awarded to the Youth Association for their StreetSmart initiative that will provides wrap-around support for young people at street level.

Worth Unlimited in Doncaster are to receive funding to help reducing fixed term exclusions in Doncaster schools. They will offer one-to-one support as early intervention for school exclusions.

EPIC in Doncaster have also been awarded funding for their pop up youth space outreach work in the Frenchgate Centre to deal with anti-social behaviour.

Funding has been awarded to Swinton Lock in Rotherham for The Base Youth Club.  This youth club and delivery programme will engage young people in activities and building healthy relationships.

There were a number of successful bids in Sheffield including The Hanover Tenants association, who have received funding to recruit an employment and skills co-ordinator working with clients on a one to one basis, to help them write their CV and assist them into training and employment.

Steel City Amateur Boxing Club, working in Darnall and Fir Vale, will run some knife crime workshops.  Their program is aimed at showing young people they have a choice on whether they choose to carry a weapon or behave in a certain way.

The My Life Project in The Manor are supporting children and young people who struggle to access and progress in a mainstream educational setting. The funding will provide personalised support to build on confidence, self-esteem and self-belief.

Hubb Youth on Abbeydale Road will target some of the most deprived and disadvantaged members of the young Black and Asian community. They will address anti-social behaviour, gang violence, drugs and knife crime.

FURD Youth will work with a diverse range of young people and the local community to devise and implement an intervention programme to tackle gang, gun and knife crime amongst children and young people.

Unity Gym will continue to help young people with the ever increase in demand for support in Broomhall.  Recently, anxiety, grief, trauma and the psychological effects of isolation have enhanced the needs for mental health support to talk though their experiences of isolation, fatigue, stress and boredom during lockdown.

Element Society will provide a peer-to-peer programme across Rotherham and Sheffield to proactively engage and educate young people from 14-years to 16-years on the topic of healthy relationships, whilst at the same time highlighting sexual harassment and domestic abuse.

In2Change will run sessions to educate young people across South Yorkshire on what constitutes domestic abuse and sexual harassment.  This will include how to spot the signs of abuse and harassment and who to turn to for help if they or someone they know is a victim of domestic abuse.

The Streetdoctors will run a South Yorkshire wide peer-mentoring programme for 24 young people from 16-years to 25-years who are at risk of involvement in serious violence. This will support participants to consider careers in the health and social care sector and train them to become active first responders in emergencies.

Graham Jones, Head of the South Violence Reduction Unit said: “We have awarded grant funding to some very exceptional groups, who are all committed to working in partnership with us to reduce violence by trying to prevent it happening in the first place.

“The fund was heavily oversubscribed with some excellent applications.  The panel has some difficult decisions to make and unfortunately were we only able to provide funding to thirteen groups.  This does show that there are many organisations in South Yorkshire working with the aim of supporting young people away from harm and violence.

“We will work with our successful recipients across the year and look forward to seeing the outcomes of their hard work.”

The fund received 83 applications from community groups and organisations across South Yorkshire.  All unsuccessful recipients have been advised of local community grant schemes that they can still apply to including South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation and the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s Community Grant Scheme.

Dr Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner said: “I am very aware that many young people in South Yorkshire are exposed to violence – they see it and can be influenced by it, and this can quickly blight the rest of their lives unless there is timely and skilled intervention.

“This is why the work of the Violence Reduction Unit is so critical. It seeks to tackle the root causes of violence and prevent our young people from being drawn into it.

“I am pleased that we can support the vital work of so many groups in the community and voluntary sector from every part of the county where children and young people are at greatest risk.

“Many young people will be helped to keep away from violence and anti-social behaviour as a result of the projects and programmes being funded.

“I look forward to meeting some of those running these projects as we start to come out of the time of restrictions.

“I am sorry that we were unable to fund more projects though my Police and Crime Commissioner grant funding will also soon be available, though for smaller amounts.

“During the last year and a half, many young people have struggled to cope and some have been targeted by crime gangs. So this is a particularly important moment to give this support.”