Charity which provides mentoring for children in Wiltshire is given funding boost from PCC

By Jamie Hill - 8 November 2020


A Swindon charity which provides mentoring for children in Wiltshire has been given a boost thanks to funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner.

The PCC’s Covid-19 Response Fund has donated £5,000 towards an overall £10,000 Wiltshire Community Foundation grant to The SMASH Youth Project.

The charity provides one-to-one mentoring for young people aged between 13 and 19 who are either struggling at home or school.

PCC Angus Macpherson said he was keen to support charities and organisations which provided vital support for young people.

He said: “The work these charities do is invaluable.

“It is obvious that support in the right places, helping children and young people from an early stage, gives them the very best start in life and will hopefully prevent them from falling into crime.

“I am passionate about early intervention and the knock-on impact that this can have on policing. If we can get to the root of the problem early enough then we should be able to keep these people safe and reduce crime.”

The SMASH Youth Project has lost £80,000 in funding that was directed elsewhere during the pandemic and has subsequently had to cut its staffing.

Project director Moira Leitch said: “Most of the children that come to us are not able to cope with the demands of everyday life.

“All children will be referred into to us as a result of behaviour they have displayed - most of the behaviour is classed as socially unacceptable but there will be a reason for it and it is our role to help them understand themselves, like themselves and find some direction.”

Wiltshire Community Foundation joint chief executive Fiona Oliver added: “We are hearing so many stories of groups who have struggled with funding due to lost fundraising opportunities and increased need.

“We set up our fund to help these groups respond to the need on their doorstep and ensure that they are still around for the long term. We are very thankful to the Police and Crime Commissioner for his support.”

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