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The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has awarded over £4,500 to a local organisation focused on providing help and support to vulnerable families throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.

The money being used by the PCC for good causes has been seized from criminals.

The Together Apart project run by Open House Community Group CIC is working with families in the Kings Norton area of Birmingham. They are providing wellbeing packs, loan technology and equipment to help with home schooling and to support families looking for employment.

The scheme will also help people find relevant support services.

Together Apart provides support for families through this difficult time and will aim to ensure that those who they work with do not experience a deterioration in their mental health.

The project will also actively work with young people to provide them with positive opportunities to prevent them from becoming involved in crime.

The PCC is using money from his Community Initiatives Fund to provide support for voluntary organisations and community activity to help vulnerable people during the COVID 19 crisis. The fund for the next 6 months totals £200,000.

This money has been seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act and cannot be spent on officer pay.

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Waheed Saleem, who leads on the Community Initiatives Fund said: “A total of over £200,000 will be ploughed back into the local community over the next six months using money taken from criminals.

“Open House Community group are doing a magnificent job in supporting some of the most vulnerable people. I am delighted we have been able to provide £4,500 to support the work they are doing.

“The Coronavirus pandemic has led to many families across the West Midlands become very anxious about the future and this project is doing great work in providing help and support.

“This project has a particular focus on the long term impact Coronavirus will have on our communities particular on young people. By actively providing positive activities for young people this project will help prevent vulnerable young people becoming involved in crime.”    

 Open House Community group said “Open House CIC is a not for profit organisation committed to enriching the lives of young people and their families, we believe that no young person should have reduced opportunities because of where they live.

“We promote compassion in the community by providing youth clubs, sports & activities, wellbeing groups and careers support for young people aged 10-24.  We would like to thank the Police and Crime Commissioner for their support with our Together Apart project. 

“This funding allows us to engage young people through wellbeing packs and activities during their transition to a “new normal”.  It is also vital for the development of a “Grow Your Own” club at our allotment space where we will teach young people about growing their own produce, working together and developing valuable life skills for the future.”

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