The Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, is utilising funds seized from criminals to finance projects aimed at improving the safety of local communities. The Safer Communities Fund, overseen by Mayor Brabin, is currently accepting applications until 9 June, with the current grant round’s theme being “supporting victims and witnesses.”

Mayor Brabin encourages projects that work towards preventing crime, offering assistance to those affected by crime, and reducing the number of repeat victims to apply for the fund. The goal is to foster a safer and fairer West Yorkshire, with the support and well-being of victims and witnesses serving as the cornerstone of this ambition.

“We aspire to build a safer, fairer West Yorkshire, and supporting victims and witnesses lies at the core of that ambition,” stated Mayor Brabin. “Through our Safer Communities Fund, we are investing in projects that provide vital support to individuals, particularly when they find themselves in vulnerable circumstances. By redirecting ill-gotten gains from criminals back into our communities, this fund demonstrates that crime simply does not pay.”

Currently, £350,000 is available for distribution, bringing the total value of the fund to over £1.3 million. Since 2022, the Mayor’s Safer Communities Fund has awarded grants to 173 projects, benefiting over 59,000 individuals across West Yorkshire.

Among the recipients is Sky Positive Minds, which received £8,000 from the Mayor’s fund to expand its one-to-one mental health support services for vulnerable women and girls within the South Asian community in Kirklees. A service user shared their experience, expressing the positive impact the program has had on their life: “Having a listening ear, confidential support, and a non-judgmental advisor has profoundly influenced my life. My confidence has grown, and I have acquired numerous techniques to enhance my mental health. Throughout significant life changes, such as changing jobs, getting married, and relocating, I have been able to seek advice and support from a trusted professional.”

Past projects supported by the fund include self-defence classes for women, girls, trans, and non-binary individuals in Calderdale, assistance for victims of racially motivated hate crimes and incidents in Leeds, and a drugs intervention and prevention workshop in Bradford.

Community groups, voluntary organisations, charities, and partners have until 12 pm on 9 June 2023 to submit funding applications. For further information and details on how to apply, please visit the West Yorkshire Combined Authority website.