The Northumbria Violence Reduction Unit announced today that it has awarded almost £8,000 to fund projects developed by young people with the aim of tackling knife crime.

Giving young people the chance to have their voices heard is exactly what the Local Youth Fund is all about, and in this latest round, it provided an opportunity for them to put forward ideas to encourage young people to think twice about carrying or using a knife.

With that in mind, young people across the region bid for a range of activities that they felt would make a difference to their local areas and improve their feelings of safety.

As young people continue to shape this fund, a youth panel were responsible for reviewing the applications and providing their recommendations for funding. This has resulted in nearly 600 young people now set to get their projects underway.

Focused on increasing awareness of the dangers and consequences of knife crime, the successful applicants came up with projects including wearing white at community sessions to spark conversation amongst young people, hearing from specialists in information sessions, and sports activities such as a ‘knives down’ football league,  with important messages around staying safe.

The organisations supporting the successful applicants include:

  • Sporting Chance North East
  • Hat-Trick
  • Northbourne Youth Initiative
  • Neetzotz Ltd
  • Trinity Academy Newcastle
  • Curious Arts
  • Forget Me Not Residents Association
  • Auxillia Youth Services CIC
  • Mary Ashley and YMCA Newcastle
  • Durham Army Cadets – Northfield Gardens TA Centre

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “Knife crime is a national problem but we are not immune to it here in the North East. In the last few months, our region has experienced total devastation at the loss of several young lives and I don’t want to see another family go through this. That’s why we must continue to do all we can to tackle violence, which has no place in our communities. The youth fund is one of many initiatives from the Violence Reduction Unit, that puts our young people at the heart of its decision-making and gives them the chance to tell us how they think knife crime can be prevented – and they have done just that.”

Commenting on the additional benefits that the youth fund provides, Kim added: “In previous rounds, we have seen young people gaining new skills and growing in confidence, which is why I can’t stress enough how important it is that we continue to give them access to opportunities. With the right support, we can help our young people make positive choices for the future and reduce their chance of becoming involved in crime.”

On behalf of the North East Youth Alliance, NE Youth Chief Executive Jon Niblo said: “We are proud to continue our collaborative work with the Violence Reduction Unit and for the hard work and dedication of our young people involved in the latest panel for the Local Youth Fund, which places them at the heart of key decisions.”

Thanks to previous rounds of the Youth Fund, almost £30,000 has already made a difference to around 4,000 young people through projects and activities they bid for, including a variety of sports activities, training programmes for personal development, improving local areas and a focus on health and well-being.

For more information on the Local Youth Fund, please contact the Violence Reduction Unit by email