Leeds organisation Getaway Girls wins funds for work with young women at risk of gang exploitation

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Wiliamson with some of the Safer Communities Fund grant winners.
West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Wiliamson with some of the Safer Communities Fund grant winners.

A Leeds organisation working to empower young women and girls is among the local projects winning a share of more than £200,000 to tackle violent crime and support victims.

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson has awarded almost £5,000 to Getaway Girls through his county-wide Safer Communities Fund.

Read more: This Leeds charity is giving inner-city girls a voice - and it could be nurturing some future leaders

Each of the 49 successful projects will tackle serious violent crime through prevention, early intervention, diversion, protection or education.

In the case of Getaway Girls, the money will be used to fund outreach sessions which use music to build a rapport with young women in Harehills and Chapeltown who are at risk of gang-related harm.

Director Flavia Docherty said: “Getaway Girls has been supporting girls and young women for over 30 years. We are really excited to receive the funding to support young women through outreach work, music workshops and to have opportunities to have their voices heard.

“Through support young women can look at issues affecting their lives and build confidence, resilience and make positive choices for the future.”

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Another of the projects to receive funding is Wakefield-based Spectrum People, which provides meaningful activities for some of the most vulnerable people in Wakefield.

Mr Burns-Williamson said: “Unfortunately we have seen a rise in violent crime recently, not just in West Yorkshire but across the country.

“It has not gone unanswered. The police will always do everything they can to stop and prevent these offences, however community groups and organisations also have a really important part to play in preventing such crimes from happening in the first place.”

The Safer Communities Fund takes money recovered from criminals and redistributes it to organisations working to tackle crime throughout West Yorkshire.

Applications for the next round of funding will be taken from October 29 when a total of £150,000 will be available in grants of up to £5,000.

Further details will be shared through the police and crime commissioner’s website soon.