High Sheriff Fund Awards £12,000 to community groups

Almost £12,000 of funding from our High Sheriff Award programme is helping organisations address issues including youth crime and anti-social behaviour across Wiltshire and Swindon.

The High Sheriff Fund was established to help grassroots charities and groups running projects which seek to bring communities together to tackle local issues improving trust and understanding. It particularly focuses on crime in local neighbourhoods, reducing re-offending, violence against women and girls and youth crime.

This year, five organisations from across the county were awarded grants:

A £3,000 grant will help 4Youth (South West), which works in Melksham, Westbury and Chippenham, fund more youth workers to connect with young people. The group, based at the Canberra Centre in Melksham, has identified areas of the town where there have been incidences of drug-taking, anti-social behaviour, criminal damage, and thefts of bikes and scooters from younger children and wants its workers to engage with teenagers who may be at risk of offending.

Youth group The Yellow Brick Road Project has been awarded £2,400 to work with young people at risk of becoming involved with knife crime in Ludgershall and Andover. The grant will help fund a youth worker to go out and meet teenagers at risk of being drawn into crime by adults who travel between the two towns.

Salisbury Women’s Refuge was awarded £700 to replace broken and worn kitchen furniture, equipment and crockery. The refuge has 12 rooms for women and children and provides a safe space for them to regroup, receive help and plan for their future.

Shine Pinehurst, was awarded £3,000 to buy an inflatable football pitch. The group works with hundreds of young people on the Pinehurst estate who came up with the idea for the pitch. It will not only act as a fun way to engage children and young people in a positive, healthy activity right by where they live but also provide an opportunity for those young people at risk of involvement with criminal activity to help with setting up and running the sessions.

STEP 10-18 Swindon will use its £2,565 grant to run its Positive Steps programme, aimed at boosting young people’s self-esteem and keeping them away from crime, for 50 pupils in three schools.

Among the panel members awarding grants were outgoing High Sheriff Sir Charles Hobhouse, previous incumbent Ashley Truluck and former Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson.

To ensure as many applicants as possible were funded, the balance of £2,696 from the 2021 Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Fund was also awarded.

Commenting on the programme and this year’s awards Wiltshire Community Foundation Joint Chief Executive Fiona Oliver: “Each year the High Sheriff Fund supports vital projects which bring communities together to tackle local issues and make a real difference to people across Wiltshire and Swindon.

“Sir Charles has been a tremendous advocate for the voluntary and community sector, helping to raise the profile of many groups and charities who are working so hard to support our communities. In addition to the £12,000 awarded through the High Sheriff Fund, Sir Charles raised an additional £13,700 through his High Sheriff Summer Fete at Monkton Farleigh Manor last July. These funds were awarded to ten organisations helping young people with their mental health last August.

“We hugely value the ongoing relationships we have with each year’s High Sheriff of Wiltshire and look forward to working closely with Sir Charles’s successor, Lady Lansdowne.”

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