Skip Content

Ten groups given grants to make our communities safer


The Freedom Foundation’s ‘Demonstrating Resilience, Improving Lives’ (DRIL) project has been announced as one of the successful bidders for funding through Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry’s Make Notts Safe Community Chest grants.

A programme which uses music to divert young people from antisocial behaviours is just one of ten projects to be given a funding boost through a grant scheme designed to help “Make Notts Safe.”

The Freedom Foundation’s ‘Demonstrating Resilience, Improving Lives’ (DRIL) project has been announced as one of the successful bidders for funding through Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry’s Make Notts Safe Community Chest grants.

DRIL, which has been awarded over £4,500, works with young people experiencing poor mental health and wellbeing and who are disengaging from education and at risk of criminal exploitation. It teaches children how to use music, including rapping and spitting bars, and song-writing to express themselves and their feelings and build aspirations.

“If you can change that one individual’s life and path, that is really powerful,” said Laura Grant, co-director of the Freedom Foundation, which is based in Nottingham city centre.

“We worked with one individual last year who was on the cusp of being involved in crime. His brother was in a gang and he was being drawn into that.

“It is about choices and pathways and getting them to recognise what path they are on and where it leads.

“In this case the individual was a really good writer and singer and from that intervention he started becoming more engaged at school. He was physically and mentally more present and getting less detentions.

“Music can give people an outlet and an opportunity to explore themselves and what they want to be – to write down their feelings and unlock emotions. It can instil ambition and aspiration and show that you are not defined by where you live and your circumstances.” 

The DRIL programme is delivered over several months with up to 10 children in school or alternative provision settings. Sessions take place weekly and can be tailored to the needs of the children or setting.

The Freedom Foundation’s practitioners facilitate the sessions, but they encourage children to lead - enabling them to explore the issues and challenges which affect them. Children learn new skills, wellbeing tools and receive mentoring - all of which give young people the tools to make the right choices, find their right path and explore their creativity.

Laura added that funding from grant schemes like the Make Notts Safe Community Chest was vital on ensuring the long-term stability of social enterprises like the Freedom Foundation, and made a real contribution to making positive changes to people’s lives.

The Make Notts Safe Community Chest grants scheme was launched in June and invited bids from third sector community-based organisations, and in some cases parish councils, to support projects that help meet the Police and Crime Commissioner’s priorities in the Make Notts Safe Plan.

These priorities are: Preventing crime and protecting people from harm; responding efficiently and effectively to local needs; and supporting victims, survivors, witnesses and communities.

Another successful organisation was Transform Training, in Beeston, which was awarded £5,000 for a project called Girl Talk, which supports vulnerable young women and girls who are known to the police or Youth Offending Team by providing them with the knowledge and resources to help them stay safe and avoid risky situations.

Meanwhile the Bridges Community Trust, in The Meadows, was awarded £3,000 for a project called Youth: Pride – Purpose – Place. This is a weekly football session to engage with youths aged between six and 14, of all genders and cultures as well as those “at risk” of involvement in crime and antisocial behaviour. The overall aim is to develop discipline and respect, as well as promoting companionship and friendships and improving self-esteem.

Belong Nottingham, based in Radford, secured £4,500 for Migrant Youth Crime Prevention, which will help run diversionary activities, awareness raising campaigns and a series of crime prevention workshops for young people from refugee and migrant communities. The overall aim is to reduce the risk of young people being either perpetrators or victims of crime and promoting their effective integration into the local community.

Commissioner Henry said each funding bid was carefully considered to ensure the money is spent wisely in the community on projects that help make a difference.

“When it comes to reducing crime and making Nottinghamshire a safer place, having an excellent police service is a great starting point - but it is only part of the solution,” she said.

“We can have the best possible impact when we have a full community support network all pulling in the same direction. This can be through diversionary activities to keep young people positively engaged, or through road safety schemes in areas of local concern, to name just a few. By commissioning and supporting a range of organisations to run these projects in the community, with grants schemes like the Make Notts Safe Community Chest, we can reach further to meet more diverse and complex needs than the police could ever do on their own.  

“We had a huge number of applications to the Community Chest grant scheme this year with 35 bids, which just goes to show how important this funding can be.

“As Police and Crime Commissioner I was elected to represent the people of Nottinghamshire in ensuring we have an excellent police service but also in commissioning external services that support that overall aim to Make Notts Safe. I believe each of these successful projects will help toward that goal.”

Another of the other successful groups is Breaking Barriers Building Bridges, based in Nottingham city centre, which has been given £2,000 toward The Reset Project, to engage young people in a range of early intervention activities. It is aimed at people who do not currently have a birth certificate or ID documents and helps them reset their beliefs and aspirations through engagement in positive activity.

Two parish councils – North and South Wheatley Parish Council and Treswell with Cottam Parish Council – were each awarded £2,347 to purchase interactive speed signs to tell the approaching driver their speed and to ‘slow down’ if necessary.

The Helpful Bureau, in Stapleford, was also awarded £2,500 the Home Secure project, to increase the home safety of some vulnerable and elderly members of the community by providing items such as door chains, key safes, dummy alarms and motion-based lights – to prevent crime and help them feel safer at home.

The Jawaid Khaliq Boxing Academy CIC, in St Ann’s, has been granted £3,000 for its People Power project to fund sessions for 50 new participants identified by partner agencies as at risk of offending, giving them the chance to engage in positive recreational activity.

A total of £2,000 has also been awarded to Stonebridge City Farm, in St Ann’s, to offer community involvement and training workshops to vulnerable ‘at risk’ young people.

The Community Chest opens twice a year for funding bids, with local groups able to bid for up to £5,000 each.

It is just one of a number of funding opportunities offered to third sector organisations by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire to help run projects that support the Make Notts Safe Police and Crime Plan.

For more information on these funding opportunities, visit Grants (


Posted on Monday 3rd October 2022
Share this