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Time running out for Home Office funds

Time is running out on the two funds worth £14m for voluntary sector organisations to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.

The funds aim to support local initiatives in England and Wales and empower communities to "reclaim their neighbourhoods".

Funding is split into two grants: the Choices Fund and the Community Action Against Crime: Innovation Fund.

Applications for the Choices Fund, which is worth £4m over one year, are being invited from alliances consisting of both national voluntary sector organisations and local community groups.

The Choices Fund and Community Action Against Crime: Innovation Fund will help communities 'reclaim their neighbourhoods'

Grants of up to £1m are available under the fund, which it is hoped will encourage knowledge and skills to be shared between national organisations and smaller community groups in order to reduce substance misuse and related offending among 10 to 19-year-olds. The deadline for applications is 18 August.

The Innovation Fund, which is worth £10m over two years, is designed to stimulate creative new approaches to tackling crime by voluntary and community sector organisations. Bids can be made for any amount.

The government wants to encourage applications from grassroots community activists who do not usually receive government grants, and projects that encourage closer working between the voluntary sector and Community Safety Partnerships.

Baroness Newlove, the government's champion for active, safer communities, said:

"This funding will give communities suffering the effects of crime and anti-social behaviour much more of a say in reclaiming their neighbourhoods and making change happen.

"We need to acknowledge the fantastic work individuals and informal partnerships are doing, often as volunteers, dipping into their own pockets, and let them access this funding too to get on with the job of building strong and caring neighbourhoods in their own innovative way."

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