This weekend, on Saturday 22 February, Kirkby based groups and organisations came together in an inspirational event to secure funding to help create safer communities.

Fifteen groups gathered at All Saints Catholic High School to each give a two minute pitch with the chance of being awarded up to £2,000 from a larger pot of £25,000. Their peers in the audience then voted on the groups they felt should receive the money.

Funded by Merseyside’s Violence Reduction Partnership, Kirkby Together gave the community the opportunity to influence the way they tackle issues that directly impact people’s health and wellbeing – especially when it comes to reducing levels of serious violence.

Twelve of the fifteen groups were successful in receiving up to £2,000 and the remaining groups each received £500 to support their project.

Coming together to reduce crime

Chief Inspector Phil Mullally, Knowsley Local Policing Team said: “Kirkby Together was a hugely successful and truly inspiring event. We were delighted to see so many different groups come together and have the opportunity to meet each other, build relationships and networks.

“We were really pleased to see such an incredible range of approaches adopted by these groups, which can now be developed and ultimately, help to reduce serious and violent crime in our borough. As a policing team we can’t do this in isolation and I’m confident that with the support of these fantastic groups we will see some real positive changes in Kirkby.”

Cllr Sean Donnelly, Deputy Leader of Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council, said: “Today’s event was incredibly uplifting and positive. The groups who took part are a credit to Kirkby and the wider borough and I was delighted to see them all come away as winners. Their passion and commitment to Kirkby is something we should all be very proud of and I look forward to seeing the difference they make in our communities using this funding.”

Racheal Jones, Chief Executive Officer, One Knowsley said: “Kirkby Together was a fantastic event that showcased some of the incredibly inspirational organisations that we have here in Knowsley. It was brilliant to see so much connectivity throughout the day and to get a real sense of community. I’m certain that the successful projects will have a huge impact to Kirkby and we are looking forward to supporting these organisations as they develop their projects.”

The successful groups were:

Knowsley Vale Amateur Boxing Club

Their project, Knives Down, Gloves Up will grant access to the gym for 12 youths identified by the police to divert them into a positive project.

CELLS Project CIC

The group will deliver two crime and behavioural awareness events to children and young people in two schools in the Kirkby area, one primary and one secondary.

Diversity Boxing Academy for Girls
This female only boxing club provides a place where girls can channel their energies, improve their self-esteem, lessen their anger and control their aggression. The funding will help to purchase more equipment to encourage younger girls, from the age of 11, to attend the club.

Friends of Saxon Green Park
To engage young people in the community, the group will hold a course of activities such as boot camps, forest schools, team work, life skills & active lifestyle.

Kirkby Kings Junior Football Club
Concentrating on 9 – 12 year olds, the club will purchase further equipment to allow members of the community from low income families to attend. The money will also fund the club’s coaches to gain recognised qualifications to allow them to reduce outsourcing payments.

12 Million Minds
Their project, Nobody Makes You Angry, You Decide To Use Anger As A Response, will provide workshops for young people aged 10-13 years to help them understand and control their emotions.

Hop Skip & Jump Merseyside
This organisation provide respite for youths with additional needs, those who can be seen as vulnerable and easily targeted. This funding will allow them to purchase two new seats and seat belt locks for their minibus.

Knowsley Women and Girls Offering Support
Their project, Stepping Stones will present a series of workshops aimed at empowering young women and girls aged 11 – 16 years old. The project will offer the opportunity to get together, make friends, share experiences, learn new things and support each other to grow, develop and reach their individual potential.

KABS (Kids Activities and Bootcamps)     

Their Big Impact Project offers a seven week programme of sessions based at Kirkby High School, All Saints Catholic High School, and Centre 63. The workshops will deliver physical sessions, team building and problem-solving tasks.

Southdene Adults Dance Group
Mafia Dance will use the funding to reduce isolation in the community and increase the quality of physical and mental health of people who attend, as well as those in the local community.

Farley’s Choir

The choir’s project, Singing for a Safer Kirkby, will bring the people of Kirkby together to improve respect and empathy.

Showstoppers
This drama group improves the confidence and self-esteem of young people through the provision of drama classes and community performances. Funding will support them in continuing to deliver activities that will offer young people the opportunity to make friends, learn about teamwork, respect and helping each other.

The groups who received £500 were:

North West Fife Fancy Canary Club

The funding will help to support the club to continue their work in encouraging young people off the streets and into a group to take responsibility for the bird’s welfare.

Valencia Morris Dancing

The troupe support females in the area to keep fit, socialise, raise their self-esteem, instil pride and keep them off the street. The funding will support the troupe to continue to meet, recruit more members and take part in competitions and tournaments both locally and outside the borough.

Kirkby Amateur Boxing Club
The funding will help support their project Supporting Offenders Community Payback, which provides a safe and engaging place for youths to attend and take part in fitness and training, learning new skills and life skills.