Oldham centre secures a slice of £201k Government funding

Date published: 17 August 2020

Eighteen charities that help to prevent vulnerable young people in Greater Manchester getting involved in serious violence have been supported with Government grants totalling £201,000.

The emergency, one-off, grants from the Home Office will help the charities to continue their work in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Included on the list is the town centre-based Oldham Boxing and Personal Development Centre.

The money will help towards loss of income, pay for PPE and hygiene measures, fund computer and audio equipment to move support and activities online, rent and building running costs, games, art equipment and stationary.

The money has been allocated to the Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) following a bid to the Home Office from Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

It is specifically to support small and “micro” charities that have an annual income of less than £100,000 a year, and it covers the period from April 1 to October 31, 2020.

Dan Diamond, who leads Greater Manchester’s VRU, said: “We’re pleased to support these charities to help them continue their vital work in our communities.

"There is a wide range of groups that have received funding, ranging from those incorporating quite traditional approaches to more niche ones.

“The charities include food banks, emotional support providers, support for minority groups, food services, group work sessions, online services and engagement, young people outreach, welfare rights, counselling, sports development and street-based youth engagement to divert gang activity and involvement.”

Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, Bev Hughes, said: “The Covid-19 restrictions have made life particularly difficult for young people who were already marginalised and vulnerable.

"They lost the structured social contact they had in their communities with local charities, youth groups and clubs who normally provide somewhere safe to go and provide support.

“While these small charities have carried on working, doing what they can online and face-to-face following Covid-secure guidelines, it has been tough for them and they have had to invest in equipment, PPE and new ways of working – all while dealing with the heightened pressures in young people’s lives.

“So this funding is very welcome and is a vote of confidence in the work of these charities and Greater Manchester’s Violence Reduction Unit.”

The VRU was set up in October 2019 and brings together health, police and criminal justice, education, youth justice, and the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector to address the underlying causes of violent crime and work together with communities to prevent it.

Earlier this year, the VRU announced it is investing £500,000 in piloting new community-led approaches to tackling violent crime, working closely with the VCSE sector and those most affected by serious violence to build aspirations and opportunities in the six areas of the city-region.

Do you have a story for us? Want to tell us about something going on in and around Oldham? Let us know by emailing news@oldham-chronicle.co.uk , calling our Oldham-based newsroom on 0161 633 2121 , tweeting us @oldhamchronicle or messaging us through our Facebook page. All contact will be treated in confidence.