A £250,000 fund for projects run by young people to tackle knife crime was launched by Home Secretary Theresa May and Brooke Kinsella today.
The new Ben Kinsella Fund will be administered by youth charity the Prince’s Trust.
Fifty grants will be available for young people to run positive anti-knife crime activities in their local area. Campaigner and actress Brooke Kinsella, whose brother Ben was murdered in 2008, will work with the Prince’s Trust to select the successful projects.
The grants will be targeted at areas with high levels of knife crime and serious youth violence and will be for projects which directly benefit other disadvantaged young people.
Home Secretary Theresa May said: ‘I am extremely grateful to Brooke for the hard work she has undertaken over the last few months. It is clear there is some great work going on across the country to tackle knife crime.
‘The Ben Kinsella Fund will help young people deliver valuable projects in their local areas whilst providing them with long-term life skills.
‘Local people know what works in their community and this fund will help some inspiring young people really make a difference to their neighbourhoods.’
Each project will be given the assistance of a dedicated mentor from the Prince’s Trust who will assist the young people in delivering their project and provide them with key skills, to help them into work or training in the future.
Brooke Kinsella said: ‘Over the last few years I have seen people of all ages working together with their neighbours, the police, local charities and government to try and make a difference and drive knife crime out of their communities.
‘This fund will give some of these young people the support they need to run anti-knife crime projects in their local area and I really hope it will make a difference to their neighbourhoods.’
Martina Milburn, chief executive of the Prince’s Trust said: ‘Too many young people are trapped in a cycle of poverty and unemployment. This can become a downward spiral into violence, crime – or worse.
‘The Ben Kinsella Fund will give young people the chance to break this cycle, giving them new skills and a voice to help change other young lives too.’
The fund follows on from Brooke Kinsella fact-finding mission where she saw a selection of the great work taking place around the country to help steer young people away from a life of crime.