The South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings funds three grant schemes across South Yorkshire.

The community grant scheme, administered by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, provide grants of up to £5,000 to voluntary or non-profit organisations that provide help and support to those in need and fall within the Commissioner’s priorities of protecting vulnerable people, reducing crime and anti-social behaviour and treating people fairly.

Funding from the scheme has already provided funding to Mexborough Miners Welfare for sports coaches and youth workers to deliver activities throughout the summer school break.

The activities provided young people the opportunity to participate in physical or creative activities in a safe and controlled environment away from distractions and negative behaviour.

Forge Youth in Sheffield received funding to engage with 200 young people a week aged between 11-17 years.  The young people come to the sessions from Upperthorpe, Hillsborough, Winn Gardens, Crookes, Crosspool and Nether Edge.

Applications to the grant scheme are predominantly from groups within Sheffield and Rotherham so the Commissioner has provided the two local newspapers Barnsley Chronicle and Rotherham Advertiser £15,000 each to administer on his behalf.  Organisations can bid for grant funding of up to £1,000 with these schemes.

The Barnsley Chronicle funding has funded goal posts for a local football team, training for the Barnsley and District Football League and funding to train unemployed people in fork lift truck driving and life skills.

In Rotherham funding went towards the Ferham Festival, bringing the community together in the summer and signposting people to support services.  The Aspire Community Hub received funding for sessions to help reduce criminal activity and keep vulnerable people with learning difficulties safe.

Dr Billings said: “Organisations that provide support to vulnerable people and deliver sessions to divert young people from boredom and getting into trouble are really struggling for cash at the moment.

“Funding that was once taken for granted to run youth clubs and sporting events is no longer easy to obtain, but demand for these services is on the increase.  These grant schemes do not have Large amounts of cash, but they can provide the little needed to start up a group with equipment, room or pitch hire.

“The Barnsley Chronicle and Rotherham Advertiser schemes are working really well, with the panel members choosing how the funding is distributed.  They choose the schemes based on their local knowledge and the need for these services within the area.”

“The panel members are made up of local representatives from the football clubs, Dearne and Rother FM and local councillors and South Yorkshire Police.”

Bobby Hassell, Barnsley Football Club Academy Manager sits on the Barnsley panel, he said: “The Barnsley Chronicle Stronger Together grant scheme has received applications from sporting clubs, out of school clubs and support groups offering help and support.

“These have ranged from football to basketball and offer young people something to get involved in on an evening.

“The panel are always looking for organisations that make a difference to young people’s lives, helping them to keep fit and healthy whilst being involved in something that can help them make new friends and stay out of trouble.”

You can find more information about the grant schemes and how to apply on the Commissioner’s website.