Dr Alan Billings, the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, visited Grimethorpe in Barnsley to hand over a cheque for £6,958 to Grimethorpe Activity Zone from his Community Grant Scheme.

He spent time with General Manager Dave Taylor who explained how the charity has been in operation for a number of years.

Located at the Acorn Centre in Grimethorpe, they offer help and support to young people providing alternative education for those struggling in mainstream education and deal with local children who are referred to them for being excluded from school, non-attendance or poor education skills.

Dr Billings said: “This is my first visit to the area to see the regeneration and hear how organisations such as GAZ are helping young people.

“I have heard how the organisation sign-post individuals to further education, employment and training, By giving these local residents employability skills, they are providing them with further choices to better their lives.

“I hope this funding goes a long way to help keep this service providing support and advice to as many young people as possible.”

The Grimethorpe Activity Zone is open from 10am to 4pm daily and has a youth centre included within its provision that provides a safe place for youngsters to meet.

Dave Taylor said: “We hope to work with a minimum of 50 young people aged 16-24 from the Grimethorpe area of Barnsley who are not in education or employment and move many as possible in to employment and training.  This will reduce the risk of them becoming involved in anti-social behaviour and various criminal activities, as well as potentially engaging in drug and alcohol misuse.

“From working with these young people we hope the local economy will benefit as more people in work will boost the sales of goods and services and help with the regeneration of Grimethorpe and the surrounding areas,”

For more information on the Grimethorpe Activity Zone, please contact 01226 713599.