The Local Youth Fund has returned, providing young people across the region with a platform to voice their views on how violent crime is tackled, by bidding for a share of the £16,000 fund.

This comes as Police Commissioner Kim McGuinness’s Violence Reduction Unit launched its Knives Impact Everyone campaign, highlighting the devastating consequences carrying a knife can have, as well as pointing young people to further information and support.

Now this exciting initiative provides an opportunity for young people to feel empowered to join the fight against violent crime by not only developing projects that matter to them, but those that will also have a positive impact on their local areas.

Nearly 4000 young people have already directly benefited from previous rounds of this fund, with a range of projects delivered to improve communities and ultimately make them feel safer thanks to almost £30,000 handed out.

For this new funding round, the Violence Reduction Unit have commissioned NE Youth to support with the delivery, and sees young people who attend their youth sessions recruited to form a panel, putting them at the forefront of the decision making process and giving a unique opportunity to gain valuable skills for their future.

With the fund now open, young people are once again encouraged to work with their local community groups and youth organisations to develop and submit their ideas for projects to prevent knife crime and increase feelings of safety in their communities.

When the fund closes on 13th November 2023, the youth panel will take on the responsibility of assessing all bids put forward by young people and selecting one successful project per local authority area to receive a share of the funding.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness said: “When it comes to tackling violent crime, young people have told us that they want to be part of the solution – and that’s why initiatives like this are so important as they provide a platform for them to be heard. No one should feel the need to carry a knife or bring violence to our local communities, which is why I want young people to tell me what actions they want to see happening, what would improve their local areas and what will make them feel safer.”

She added: “After consulting with young people across the region, the Violence Reduction Unit released the Knives Impact Everyone campaign, which helps us to continue getting important information to young people on the dangers, consequences and impact of carrying and using knives. This fund now goes that extra step further by giving young people the tools they need to develop their own projects and crucially provides access to positive opportunities that reduce their chances of becoming involved in violent crime. Together we can really make a difference in building safer communities for all.”

On behalf of the North East Youth Alliance, NE Youth Chief Executive Jon Niblo said: “We are delighted to be once again collaborating with the Violence Reduction Unit on this important fund for Young People. Young People continue to raise concerns about their own safety and this fund provides an opportunity to lead a project or activity that contributes towards making our communities safer.”

To apply for a share of the Local Youth Fund, visit the NE Youth website or for more information, please contact the Northumbria Violence Reduction Unit by email