A FOOTBALL community project which has helped to transform the lives of more than 1,000 people can continue its vital work thanks to a cash boost.
Football Unites, Racism Divides in Sheffield has been helping to keep youngsters off the streets and out of trouble with its Positive Futures scheme.
National funding for the project – which also helps teens find training and education in subjects such as football coaching – was due to run out this month.
But it has been given a boost after becoming one of the first charities to benefit from a funding pot set up by Shaun Wright, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner.
FURD, based in Lowfield, has been given £39,000.
Simon Hyacinth, joint co-ordinator, said: “It is great news for us. The money will help us to continue with the work we’ve been doing.
“We work with NEETs – youngsters not in employment, education or training – the majority of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds and a large proportion of whom are from black and ethnic backgrounds.
“A large proportion are at risk of going into the criminal justice system or being excluded from school. Our work is not just about diversionary tactics, it is about giving them positive opportunities to progress in life by getting new skills and experiences so they can access education.”
Another project to benefit from the Commissioner Grant Scheme, revealed today, is the Sheffield Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Service.
It has been given £35,000 to help extend its telephone helpline opening hours.
Meera Kulkarni, centre manager, said: “The money is really for supporting our volunteers.
“We have about 20 who are trained to support women, through our telephone helpline. The money will be used to support them as we are just about to extend our helpline opening hours, from two days a week to five or six.”
All the community projects given grants, between £10,000 and £50,000, were chosen because they tackle policing priorities such as protecting the most vulnerable people from crime or reducing anti-social behaviour.
Commissioner Wright said: “After the launch of the grant scheme, we received over 100 applications. The quality of the projects undertaken by the voluntary and community sector shows the excellent work they are doing. It was a very difficult task to decide who we could support.”
Further funding rounds are scheduled for April and later in the year.
* FURD, Sheffield
* Pakistani Advice and Community Association, Sheffield
* Sheffield Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Service
* REMA crime prevention, Rotherham
* Grow, Rotherham
* Flying Futures, youth work project, Doncaster
* DARTS, Doncaster
* Phoenix one-stop health service, Barnsley