Following a surge in voluntary and community activity to help vulnerable people during the COVID 19 crisis, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, has made £200,000 available over the next six months, to support active citizenship within local communities.
The new Community Initiatives Fund which comes into effect on Monday 4th May 2020, will be funded from money which has been allocated from items seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act. Each year, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner invites local community groups to bid for a grant from the existing Active Citizens Fund which is money which must go into community projects and cannot be spent on recruiting Police officers. The Community Initiatives Fund temporarily replaces the Active Citizens Fund.
Deputy West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Waheed Saleem, said:
“This really is a wonderful way to say ‘thank you’ in a practical way to all those people who are rapidly responding and organising in new ways to connect with each other within their communities. This includes online, providing practical and spiritual support, and using local supply chains.
“Through neighbourhood policing, I want to encourage and support community initiatives and networks that are enterprising. I want to hear from people about how they now provide new solutions to reach the vulnerable, how they protect them from threats and harm and to help them thrive despite the current restrictions. I also want to know how we can support them.”
Chief Superintendent Sally Bourner who leads for West Midlands Police on active citizenship, said:
“This is an excellent opportunity for neighbourhood policing to be able to support the community at a grass roots level. It will be our job to make sure citizens are made fully aware of the funding available and to engage with them through digital networks, social media and direct established community contacts to help people and groups apply for the funding.”
The scrutiny process for applications will be streamlined. All applications will be scrutinised by one panel, made up of West Midlands Police representatives leading on work relating to volunteering, local partnerships, planning for organisational recovery, and community engagement.
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