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New drama centre for Yarmouth

PUBLISHED: 10:19 16 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:18 03 July 2010

Cash seized from convicted criminals is to be ploughed into five community projects around Norfolk.

The funding has been made available through the Government's recently launched Community Cashback scheme, in which seized assets, such as confiscated cash or property, are earmarked to fund worthwhile community projects.

Cash seized from convicted criminals is to be ploughed into five community projects around Norfolk.

The funding has been made available through the Government's recently launched Community Cashback scheme, in which seized assets, such as confiscated cash or property, are earmarked to fund worthwhile community projects.

In Norfolk 57 projects were nominated and 480 responses were received from members of the public on which projects they would like to see funded.

The five successful projects have now been announced and include a school in Norwich, help for young victims in Yarmouth, youth projects in Dereham and Heartsease and a plan to renovate and repair Broadland facilities which are damaged by criminals.

The £4m Community Cashback fund was announced back in May and Norfolk Criminal Justice Board was able to submit project proposals for funding up to a maximum of £95,000.

Successful bids needed to show how the local community was involved in suggesting the project, demonstrate good value for money and be related in some way to tackling antisocial or criminal behaviour locally.

Paul Baker, governor of Norwich Prison and a member of Norfolk Criminal Justice Board, said: “The public response to Community Cashback in Norfolk has been significant and we thank everyone who took the time to either nominate projects or 'have their say' on which project they felt would benefit from the funding in our area.

“It is fantastic that we have been able to respond to the communities' needs and that the proceeds of crime will now be channelled into projects that will make a positive difference to the local community and the lives of individuals.

“We hope that Community Cashback has given people the opportunity to have a stronger voice in the Criminal Justice System in Norfolk.”

Catton Grove Primary School will receive £16,750 to extend play facilities for its youngest pupils, including creating a new adventure trail at its Weston Road site.

Headteacher Tim Lawes said: “We are delighted because it means we can extend our facilities for the school and for the community outside school time too.

“I think the scheme is a very good idea, because it is putting the proceeds of crime back into the communities that often suffer from the criminal activities of these people.”

Victim Support will use its money to provide a centre in Great Yarmouth for young victims. There will be workshops in drama, music and assertiveness to build confidence and self-esteem.

The Heartsease Young People Engagement, which works with the Matthew Project drug and alcohol project to work positively with young people, has also been given funding. It was formed after more than 1,000 anti-social behaviour incidents were recorded in the area between 2007 and 2009. It will provide a two-hour weekly outreach/drop-in session for young people in Sale Road Park.

Sophie Neech, youth team leader at the Matthew Project, said: “We have been given £4,500 to deliver a mobile outreach service on Friday nights on the Heartsease estate, where the young people hang out.

“It is designed to tackle anti-social behaviour and underage drinking, and will give them a chance to speak to appropriate adults, not just about drugs and alcohol but anything they want, and they can get a cup of tea or a hot chocolate and have a chat, and we will also provide condoms.”

Stairway to Safer Communities will use its £16,400 to recruit community groups in Broadland to renovate and repair local facilities damaged through criminal and anti-social behaviour, then reward them by holding community events.

A part of Broadland District Council's existing Stairway Out of Crime programme, the project, which is in partnership with the Broadland Community Safety Partnership, will also help bring people together and allow adults and children to understand one another.

Nancy Small, the project manager, said: “In Broadland we have a low crime rate compared to other parts of the country but our residents often say to us they feel they can't use community facilities as they either feel intimidated or the facilities have been damaged by anti-social behaviour and crime.

The Yo MAD (Youth Outreach! Making A Difference) Mobile at Dereham Recreation Ground works with young people tackling anti-social behaviour, petty crime, drugs, alcohol and relationships. The project began three years ago with an old bus providing a safe social area for youngsters. It now hopes to replace the bus with a new outreach vehicle.


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