This month we have awarded £149,983 from the Police Crime Commissioner Fund to 21 different projects throughout County Durham and Darlington, aimed at improving community safety and reducing crime.

One of the groups who received funding were Wheatley Hill Community Association who were awarded £9,490 to provide access to free activities for young people in Wheatley Hill. This was aimed at 5 to 16 year olds, to take place during school holidays running from July 2015 to May 2016, based at the Greenhills Centre.

The programme got off to a great start this week, with 34 youngsters enjoying football and sports in just one morning.

Hilary Jamieson, Operations Manager at Wheatley Hill Community Association, applied for funding to benefit the whole community. She said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for our local community. It enables our children, young people and their families to access fun, safe activities on their doorstep.

“Whilst Wheatley Hill Community Association have planned the first summer holiday activity programme we will actively be seeking input from the community to shape the programmes from October 2015 through to May 2016.

“We are most grateful to Ron Hogg and County Durham Community Foundation for the opportunity to make such a positive impact on our local community.”

Barbara Gubbins, Chief Executive of County Durham Community Foundation, said: “We are delighted to have been able to work with the Police & Crime Commissioner and manage the Community Safety Fund for the first time this year.

“The project at Wheatley Hill is a great example of the type of projects funded and it\’s a delight to see how successful activities like this can be and what great opportunities they bring to the children of the area. A fantastic start to the funding given out this year.”

Ron said: “Victims of crime and community safety concerns continue to be at the heart of my Police and Crime Plan for 2015-17. Investing in local projects like this one is important, as they have such a positive impact on the surrounding community.

“I am pleased that so many families in the Wheatley Hill area will benefit from these activities. This project will engage young people in a variety of ways, while keeping them safely off the streets during the holidays.”