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A further £120,000 of funding to be released to tackle the causes of crime

31 August 2022

A further £120,000 of funding to be released to tackle the causes of crime

Charities and good causes invited to apply for grants of up to £8,000

A second round of funding has been announced by Southern Co-op with a further £120,000 available for local community projects tackling the causes of crime.

The regional co-operative first launched its Safer Neighbourhood Fund in 2020 concentrated in communities most impacted by crime across its trading area. It was supported by a £100,000 investment, which has led to more than 1,300 people being supported including offenders and/or those at risk of offending.

According to four of the projects working with offenders, their estimated reoffending rates were between 0% and 4.2% - a significant reduction from the national average of 26-32%*.

Mark Smith, Chief Executive of Southern Co-op, said: "There have been some positive steps forward in the last few years but sadly crime is still on the increase. So we need to continue to tackle business crime from every angle to protect our colleagues and customers to enable us to continue to serve local communities across the south.

"The previous round of funding was such a success that we are opening up the opportunities to even more people - this will mean a total of £220,000 donated to local causes and projects.

"Hopefully we can replicate the previous results and help more people to overcome personal barriers and move away from criminal behaviours."

More than 25,000 incidents are expected to be reported across Southern Co-op's businesses this year. In 2021, compared to 2020, there was more than a 50% increase in offences which impacted its colleagues such as violence or the threat of violence and abuse.

Local good causes supported by the previous round of funding were Avon Youth Club, Changing Tunes, Empire Fighting Chance, Sixty-One, The West of England Sport Trust (Wesport), Community Alcohol Partnerships, Motiv8, The Society of St James, Youth Options, Young Ealing Foundation, Dorset Reclaim, Faithworks Wessex, Hope Housing Training & Support, and The Bourne Foundation.

Of the people supported by these good causes, more than half improved their resilience or confidence and just over 600 overcame specific personal barriers such as obtaining vital ID for benefits and work, finding secure accommodation, stopping dependence on alcohol, and finding employment.

Other results sawa reduction in negative health and wellbeing behaviours such as abstaining from substance misuse.

One of the participants of Changing Tunes, which has used the funding to deliver music and mentoring work with ex-prisoners based in Greater Bristol, Bournemouth and Southampton, said: "I've faced a number of challenges since leaving prison. I came out with anxiety and confidence issues, struggling to find a purpose.

"Since release, I've been participating in Changing Tunes' post-release sessions. This has given me purpose. It also gives me relief from my anxiety. My confidence is growing weekly. I'm learning valuable skills. I've made life-long friends.

"I get thrown new challenges from Changes Tunes, which gets my brain into gear, and again takes me away from my anxiety and depression. The life-changing value of Changing Tunes is incalculable!"

A total of 15 grantsup to £8,000 are available across Portsmouth, Southampton, Bristol, Bournemouth and South London.

The Safer Neighbourhood Fund is currently open for expressions of interest and applications open on Monday 5 September for six weeks. The deadline is Friday 14th October with applicants notified in November on whether they have been successful.

If you are a charity or good cause supporting offenders and/or those at risk of offending, find our more via

* National Statistics published by the Ministry of Justice in May 2021, ‘Proven reoffending statistics: January to March 2019':