Posted: Wednesday 11th November 2015
When Sue Mountstevens was elected she made it clear to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) team that she wanted funds to be available for community and charitable groups so that grassroots projects could be supported to improve community safety outcomes. In response we set up the Commissioner’s Community Action Fund (CCAF) for grants to be awarded by the Police Community Trust (PCT) with invaluable guidance and support from the PCT team. The PCT has awarded grants like this for many years and as well as the CCAF holds other funds including a dedicated Road Safety Fund.
The board of Trustees includes the Chief Constable, PCC and others including Lord Lieutenants and meets quarterly to award grants. Applications must show how their project or service will contribute to one of the PCC’s priorities as well as answering a number of other questions. Trustees always seek the input of the relevant local police officer and their views about local issues and the community’s needs are an important part of the decision making process. Each year the fund has held £200k from which Trustees award grants of up to £5000.
Given the number of projects that the OPCC funds via other means and other areas of business that we are involved in it is important that this is taken into consideration when making funding decisions. Part of my role in the OPCC is to support the PCC in this respect as well as link with PCT colleagues on the running of the scheme.
It was exciting (and at times overwhelming!) to receive so many great applications when we first launched the scheme in May 2013 and the continued interest shows that communities in Avon and Somerset have a significant role to play in delivering the ambitions set out by the PCC in her Police and Crime Plan. Since then over 270 application forms have been received, processed and debated and over 150 cheques signed, cashed and spent.
We have funded some truly brilliant projects over the last few years, all of which have contributed to the PCC’s priorities. Details of these are uploaded to the PCC’s website after each meeting. In addition, now that many projects have reported back on what they achieved we are compiling some highlights online – maybe there is a project that might help you in your role?
If you have a question about any of the projects or the CCAF then please get in touch. Because of the forthcoming PCC election the CCAF will close for applications at the end of the 2015/16 financial year, meaning that the final application deadline is 1st December 2015, for a late January 2016 decision. Applications received after this date will not be able to be considered.
Grants Officer and Violence Against Women and Children Champion