Cash to help at risk youngsters

YOUNG people at risk in Wiltshire are to receive extra help, after local charities received a funding boost from the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Twelve projects from across the county have received £315,000 from Angus Macpherson’s £1million Innovation Fund, which supports the most vulnerable members of society.

Trowbridge based youth services charity Alabaré received £20,228 to provide overnight accommodation for young people with nowhere else to go.

Vanessa Brown, from the charity, said: “Sometimes when young people are picked up off the street, either as runaways or at risk, there is a delay in finding suitable accommodation overnight. “We’ve heard stories of young people being put in a police cell for their own safety, because if they are sitting at a police station an officer has to sit with them, and on a busy Friday night that just doesn’t happen.”

The charity can now provide a bed in Trowbridge and Salis-bury, to relieve pressure on the police. Ms Brown said: “This will give us enough money to run the project for 12 months, and take up to two young people per night for up to seven days.”

Trowbridge-based counselling charity Splitz also benefited from the grants, with £35,000 to address domestic abuse among teenagers. Fundraising coordinator Andrew Farrow said: “There is physical violence, emotional abuse and lack of sexual respect in some teen relationships. In our work on a one-to-one basis we noticed a change in attitude.

“The money will fund two facilitators to go to four schools and deliver workshops for boys and girls over 12 weeks, teaching them about respectful relationships. “It’s a pilot scheme, to give us a chance to attract more money and roll it out across Wiltshire.”


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