Northampton youth organisation gets £800k from Government to help young people stay clear of crime

NBC cabinet member Anna King (left) and Victoria Atkins, the minister for crime, safeguarding and vulnerability, have both spoken about the Home Office funding
NBC cabinet member Anna King (left) and Victoria Atkins, the minister for crime, safeguarding and vulnerability, have both spoken about the Home Office funding

Northampton Borough Council will receive £800,000 from the Government to fund an early intervention programme for the town's young people.

The Home Office made the announcement today (August 22) and said the funding will help divert young people in Northampton away from abuse or a pathway to crime.

Money from the Government’s Trusted Relationship Fund has been given to the council to run the four-year project that will fund Northampton’s youth organisation, Free to Talk (F2T), and support young people to take a more positive path.

The aim of the project is to reduce exploitation and abuse, missing episodes and interactions with the youth justice system.

Councillor Anna King, cabinet member for community engagement and safety at the borough, said: "We are so grateful to have successfully secured funding from the Home Office’s Trusted Relationships Fund.

"This funding will enable us and Free2Talk to reduce exploitation, knife crime and anti-social behaviour amongst youths by increasing the support available to vulnerable groups in the town.

"We will continue to work with local young people to deliver the programme of support, including early intervention, a mentoring scheme and a youth club-based education programme, to ensure we can reach out to those most at risk."

The unique project will use open access youth centres to deliver informal education programmes written in partnership with young people.

The Trusted Relationship Fund was launched earlier this year following a review carried out by the Early Intervention Foundation.

The review, commissioned by the Home Office, found that a trusted relationship with an adult is an important part of programmes to support vulnerable children and that a lack of trusted relationships is consistently cited as a contributing factor in cases of child sexual abuse and exploitation.

It found that this kind of social support can help children avoid risky situations, as well as help them overcome adverse circumstances in their lives and that a trusted relationship can make young people significantly more likely to disclose when abuse is happening to them.

The Early Intervention Foundation also emphasised the importance of testing the effectiveness of interventions with young people, which will form a key part of this fund.

Minister for crime, safeguarding and vulnerability, Victoria Atkins, said: "It is heartbreaking that too many young people have to tackle life without an adult figure that they can rely on, leaving them at risk of being abused or driven into crime.

"This Government is determined to invest in innovative projects that protect young people and steer them away from destructive harm.

"Early intervention can help give vulnerable young people the best chance in life and I am delighted that the Trusted Relationships Fund will provide support to children in Northampton."