Grant funds U.K. project to tackle crime
By Steven Impey
GLOUCESTERSHIRE, England — Young people being kept from anti-social behaviour have been handed a lifeline.
The Aston Project, which works with youngsters in Cheltenham to stop them from falling into a world of crime, has been given a £30,000 grant over the next three years.
It is being handed over by Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl, who has drawn the money from the newly-created Commissioner's Fund.
The project needs £15,000 a year to keep running. And the extra funding will guarantee it can continue for at least two more years.
Mr Surl said: "I think the Aston Project is doing a great job and I am delighted to be able to help them as the work they do fits in perfectly with my aim of helping young people become responsible adults. "We need sensitive, relevant and effective policing to ensure our young people become law-abiding, productive members of society.
"In the past, the tendency has been to marginalize young offenders as 'troublemakers' with little opportunity or desire for them to be rehabilitated into society.
"I want the system to work for them, not against them, and the Aston Project is a good example of that".
The Aston Project offers local young people aged 10 to 18 the opportunity to get involved in a whole range of clubs and workplaces, gaining credits which can be spent on other activities in the community.
The project was originally used as a mechanism to prevent anti-social behaviour among youths in St.Paul's.
It was re-named in September 2011 in memory of PC Lynn Aston, who died of cancer in 2011.
Inspector Jon Roberts, who works at Hester's Way Police Station where The Aston Project is based, said: "This is fantastic news and will mean we can continue to expand Aston even further into our community locally and countywide, building a legacy that PC Lynn Aston would be proud to involved with."
Project co-ordinator PC Lea Butcher added: "This award is testament to the hard work the 75 young people currently belonging to Aston have done and will mean we can offer more young people the same opportunities."
Copyright 2013 Gloucestershire Echo