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Community fund helps 30 girls a week escape sexual exploitation – and more groups can benefit


JACKPOT: Representatives of organisations who have benefited from the Safer Communities Fund

By Kelly Woodward

A charity that helps young women escape sexual exploitation and a wide range of other issues is helping 30 people a week thanks to a grant from the Safer Communities Fund… and there’s more money up for grabs.

Getaway Girls, based in Harehills is a charity helping vulnerable young girls aged 11-18 with issues relating to relationships, family, emotional health, sexual health, housing, behaviour and sexual exploitation

They received £4,480 through the Safe Communities Fund set up by the Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williams in 2014. The deadline for the next round of funding is looming in January.

Flavia Docherty, Director of Getaway Girls said: “The funding is crucial for helping to keep very vulnerable young women safe.

“Without this funding, girls would be more at risk of exploitation and without the support they need to help them take steps to change their lives.”

The funding is in its recent stages for the charity and they already have plans lined up.

Their first action was to find two workers to join their team – one of whom speaks Czech, Polish and Slovak.

The tenth round of the fund has £140,000 available for voluntary, community groups, charities and partners who meet the outcomes in the new Police and Crime Plan.

The Safer Communities Fund is financed through money recovered from criminals in west Yorkshire Police and prosecutors under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Groups are able to apply for grants up to £5,000 to fund projects that will contribute to making the community of Leeds safe.

Mark Burns-Williams, Police and Crime Commissioner of West Yorklshire said: “The Safer Communities Fund is now in its 10th grant round and continues to have a direct and meaningful impact in our communities.

“I am really pleased that the funding is being used to help vulnerable young women to avoid being sexually exploited and many other groups helping Leeds become a safer community.”

To find out more about the Safer Communities Fund, including how to apply, visit the PCC’s website.

The Fund closes for applications at 5pm on 20 January 2017.


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