New £200k funding package unveiled to increase positive activities for young people

Voluntary and community organisations across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are being invited to apply for a share of £200k to help prevent young people from being drawn to crime and anti-social behaviour.

The Community Fund: Diversion from Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) and Crime is a collaboration between the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews and the Violence Reduction Network (VRN) to fund new diversionary activities to encourage young people at risk of crime to engage in positive and purposeful activities.

It is part of a shared ‘public health’ approach between the PCC and VRN based on the view that violence is preventable and an important part of this is providing opportunities and ensuring provision is in place to keep young people safe.  

Charities, community groups, social clubs and sports associations are among the organisations being invited to apply for funding to deliver projects that support the Commissioner and VRN’s objectives.

Grants of up to £20k are available for applicants who can provide evidence of how their project will support young people aged between 10-24 years old to prevent involvement in ASB and crime.  

Both partners are looking to support projects that involve children and young people in the project design process to ensure provision is relevant and responsive to their needs.

Launching the Community Fund, Mr Matthews said: “The VRN and I share a belief that young people will not be drawn into ASB and crime if they receive the necessary support and encouragement to fulfil their potential. Not every young person has a strong support network around them, and this is where this fund comes in – we want our communities to offer an additional source of inspiration and sustenance that will open doors and keep their lives on track.

“The prevention of crime is a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan. We cannot expect young people to make better decisions alone which is why we have pooled investment at this time to fund meaningful activities within our communities to build self-confidence and give young people a positive purpose so they are less easily lured by crime.”

Grace Strong, VRN Director, added: “We appreciate and value the work communities already undertake to keep young people safe and we know that they are often in the best position to reach, engage and inspire children and young people”

“The VRN delivers a range of frontline interventions for children and young people and we are proud of our collective success to date. The Community Fund will ensure that more children and young people are offered activities and support with the aim of reducing their vulnerability to involvement in ASB and crime.”

The funding will provide a range of provision from weekday activities and weekend or holiday activities at times when children and young people are not at school or college.

Successful applicants will become part of the VRN’s provider network and will receive support to implement their projects. The network meets every two months to share learning and enhance the knowledge and skills available across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to prevent violence.

There are also opportunities for further collaboration on joint areas of work including campaigns and applicants will be encouraged to play an active role in the PCC’s People Zones if applicable – an initiative designed to bring communities together with public, private and third sector organisations to resolve problems and utilise the talents, skills and strengths of local people to build a safe and positive future. 

The deadline for submissions is 24th October 2022. For more information or to apply, click here



The VRN is an alliance of organisations, groups and communities that believe violence is preventable and through working together in tackling its root causes, partners can make Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland safer for young people and communities.

At the core of the VRN’s work is a desire to empower communities to play an active role in preventing violence through the delivery of effective projects and services.

Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews already provides significant investment into community provision to tackle crime, reduce risk and meet the objectives of his Police and Crime Plan through his Commissioner’s Safety Fund grant scheme. The Fund is worth £650k over a two-year period (2021-22 and 2022-23). For more information, visit:


Media enquiries:  Sallie Blair 01283 821012

Posted on Tuesday 27th September 2022
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