Woman carving big orange pumpkin into jack-o-lantern for Halloween holiday decoration on white wooden planks, close up view

Young people to benefit from safe, engaging activities this Halloween and Bonfire Night

More than 1,500 young people in Liverpool will be able to enjoy safe, engaging activities this Halloween and Bonfire Night, thanks to the Merseyside Police Commissioner’s Youth Diversion Fund.

Local charities, organisations and community groups were invited to apply for a share of £50,000 to go towards projects to help keep young people active and engaged around the autumn half-term, a time when emergency services typically report a spike in incidents of anti-social behaviour and criminal activity.

In total, 24 grassroots initiatives – eight of them in Liverpool – will receive grants towards diverting young people away from crime and ASB, helping to ease the pressure on our emergency services and helping to maintain safety and security in the community.

Among the successful recipients are The Opening Doors Project in Walton who are holding a Halloween craft and food and fancy-dress event including a zombie walk for 600 young people.

All the funded projects will complement Merseyside Police and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service’s annual operation focused on preventing and reducing ASB during the school break.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “Halloween and Bonfire Night are times when families and communities across Merseyside come together, with the vast majority enjoying fun and exciting times together. Sadly, though there will always be a minority who take things too far and see this period as an opportunity to engage in types of behaviour that can have a negative impact on our communities.

“Tackling anti-social behaviour is a priority for me and I’m very proud that through my Youth Diversion Fund, these fantastic organisations and initiatives can provide a variety of supervised activities and opportunities to a diverse range of young people with the aim of preventing ASB and crime.

“Historically, it is also a particularly busy time for the police and the fire service. Through these grants, I want to help alleviate some of this extra pressure that our blue light services experience at this time of year, as well as supporting the excellent diversionary work already being carried out by Merseyside Police and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service.

“Our voluntary and third sector organisations are embedded in our communities, and they already know how to make the most of such grants to benefit their local areas. I’m excited to see the positive impact the vast array of imaginative and creative projects they have proposed benefits our young people and keeps our communities safe and secure.“

The Youth Diversion Fund takes money raised through the Police Property Act which sees money from the sale of unclaimed stolen goods or property recovered by the police which cannot be returned and diverts it towards worthwhile causes that benefit our communities and the people who live in them.

A total of 61 applications were considered by the panel, with a combined value of more than £157,438.

To avoid any duplication, bids were shared with partners before being reviewed by a panel from the Commissioner’s team and the Community Foundation for Merseyside (CFM), who manage the fund on the PCC’s behalf. CFM holds funds from individuals and organisations as donors who wish to support deserving causes in Merseyside.

James Proctor from Community Foundation for Merseyside said: “The Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner’s Youth Diversion Fund is a fantastic funding programme that supports our local grassroots community organisations and their engagement work.

“Halloween and Bonfire evenings are fun events for children and young people though they are also traditionally times when anti-social behaviour can increase.

“Community organisations offer the chance for children and young people to get involved in organised events such as Halloween parties, sports and cultural activities delivered in a supporting environment which keeps them safe.”

The full list of Liverpool projects is:

Catalyst Dance & Drama, L8 Toxteth – A project offering evening sessions of dance and drama for 150 beneficiaries with a karaoke cafe also between 5-8pm.

Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, North Liverpool – Working with 90 young people hosting interactive physical and wellbeing sessions on mischief night, Halloween and Bonfire Night between 5.30pm and 9.30pm with games, food and refreshments.

Joseph Lappin Centre, Old Swan – A Halloween party and film club for 100 beneficiaries, bringing community together, children aged 3 -12 from 30 October – 2nd November.

KMC Community Projects Ltd, Garston, Speke – Working with 100 people with sports sessions on mischief night, Halloween and Bonfire night, with young people aged 12-18 years old.

Lister Residents Association, Kensington – Working with 200 people with community group events leading to two main events on mischief night and Halloween doing sports and other events bringing the community together.

Team Oasis, Dingle – Working with 100 young people on mischief night on an in house youth group event, games, prizes, food and fancy dress and a party at Halloween.

The Opening Doors Project, Walton – Working with 600 beneficiaries providing Halloween craft and food and fancy dress, including zombie walk on 31 October.

Together We’re Stronger, Croxteth – Food, DJ and fireworks at large community events on Halloween and Bonfire Night, bringing together all ages in the community.

Liverpool Waterfront