2 City of York charities and groups are celebrating this week after they were chosen to receive an award from a pot of criminals’ cash.
The money has been seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) by North Yorkshire Police’s Financial Investigation Unit.
Head of the unit, Detective Inspector Ian Wills, said: “Once again, we are extremely impressed at the extent of the fantastic work going on in our communities to improve life for local people.
Last year, the Financial Investigation Unit took £1.3m off North Yorkshire criminals. A percentage of this is given back to the force, which enables North Yorkshire Police to fund the Why should they? campaign.
Members of the public can help the campaign by reporting anyone they suspect of living off illegal earnings. Either call North Yorkshire Police on 101 or you can pass information anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111. You do not have to give your name and could qualify for a cash reward.
The winning organisations in York for 2011 are:
1. Joseph Trust Wood and Craft Workshop, York – £2,000
The Joseph Trust Wood and Craft Workshop have been awarded £2,000 to upgrade their woodwork shop. The charity, which is based in the village of Melbourne near York, provides training and support for disadvantaged young people.
The trust was established in 2005 after one of the founders, Joyce Dean, began fostering troubled 16-year-olds. She discovered that once they left her home at 8am, they had nothing to do and were left to their own devices until they returned home at 6pm.
The main aim of the project is to provide important life, work and social skills for young people who may find themselves in difficult circumstances. The charity also offers training towards NVQ qualifications.
Previous projects include working with young people from Future Prospects, York, and Leeds Youth Offending Teams, as well as a group of young people with learning difficulties from York. as it was at 2006
The project is currently working with the City of York Council’s Danesgate Student Support Unit in York which provides education for children permanently excluded from school, or unable to attend school. Some students from Fulford School are also benefiting from the trust.
Although a York-based charity, they were unable to find suitable premises for their work in the city.
Approximately four years ago they were offered five acres of land, on which they have built a craft and wood working workshop along with two poly tunnels, a stock of fowl and land for growing crops.
The trust is supported by the Home Office Youth Justice Board, Wetherby Young Offenders Institute and the Learning Skills Council.
The money will be put towards work benches, rewiring, dust extraction and ventilation units and tools.
2. Space 109 Homework and Cooking Club – Walmgate, York – £2,000
Space 109 was founded by a local, single mum to provide activities for residents of all ages in the Walmgate area of York. From toddler groups to music and craft groups, most of the activities are organised by 100 volunteers.
This invaluable community arts centre will receive £2,000 to help towards the expansion of their Homework and Cooking Club which is free to all children aged 8 to 16 in the local area.
A recent survey of community needs identified a demand for projects for young people which would help to steer them away from anti-social behaviour and any temptation to deviate into criminality. 92% of local residents said they would use the facilities, 98% believe young people should have somewhere to go and 88% believe more facilities are needed to keep anti-social behaviour and crime at bay.
By providing a positive and creative outlet, the club gives young people an opportunity to learn valuable life and social skills.
The homework club also means that children keep up with their school work, giving them a sense of achievement and reinforces the importance of doing well at school. The club also fosters skills in team working, self esteem, community pride and healthy eating with the youngsters obtaining a qualification in basic food hygiene.
The volunteers who work at the centre also benefit by developing their skills, leading to improved employment prospects.