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Announcing our 2024/25 grant recipients

We are delighted to announce that we have been able to award over £300,000 to 18 Essex-based charities from the 2024/25 VVU community grant.

The grants have been given to a wide range of organisations across the county and will enable local charities to help steer young people away from crime, as well as supporting those young people who have been victims of crime. Some of the charities to benefit from the £315,508 funding include:

  • £23,000 for Kids Inspire to deliver support sessions to children and families across Essex.
  • £25,000 for a youth café and an outreach programme, including an outreach worker at Southend Vineyard.
  • £24,989 to The Essex Boys and Girls Club in Chelmsford and Thurrock to deliver through youth groups and performance/ theatre arts projects a series of messages on safety in the community.
  • £22,166 to Lads Needs Dads for an ambassador programme providing community support group and life skills sessions in Colchester.
  • £12,000 to Gateway Community Media to pay for a youth worker in Basildon.
  • £17,934 to Riverview Charitable Trust to pay for physical and mental health support through multi-sports and crafts activities.
  • £25,000 to CARA for its therapy for young people who have been victims of sexual violence in Braintree, Chelmsford, Colchester and Tendring.

Roger Hirst, PFCC for Essex and Chair of the Essex Violence and Vulnerability Partnership congratulated all the charities: “Crime is preventable; tackling violence and protecting our young and vulnerable people are key priorities in my Police and Crime Plan. The VVU grant supports activities that give children and young people access to mentoring, counselling, friendships and trusted adults.  Many offer positive activities for young people to get involved with – sport, drama, youth clubs – and provide targeted support away from involvement in violent crime or antisocial behaviour.”

Mr. Hirst continued: “All the charities we are funding are committed to protecting young people, to give them a better future. By working together, we can make Essex a safer place for children to live and grow up in.”


One of the largest beneficiaries of the VVU grant is CARA (Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse) which has been awarded £25,000 for its work across four areas of Essex. The funding will support CARA in maintaining and further extending the specialist sexual violence counselling they provide for young people, aged 12-19, who have been victims of sexual violence or child sexual abuse.

Helen Parr, Chief Executive Officer at CARA, said: “The Essex Violence and Vulnerability Unit grant is a major boost in helping young people who have been victims of sexual violence or child sexual abuse. Our team of compassionate and committed Young Person’s Practitioners provide one-to-one therapeutic support for young people, helping them to understand what has happened to them and how it has affected them and to develop coping skills to help them move forwards with their lives.”

Another major beneficiary is Kids Inspire, who will use their grant to deliver support sessions to children, young people and families affected by adverse childhood experiences, impacted by emotional trauma and who have an increased risk of engaging in violence, crime, and gangs. Qualified therapists use trauma resolution therapies to help young people process feelings and experiences that are too difficult to put into words, providing the tools needed to understand and process their feelings and overall helping their mental health.

Sue Bell OBE, Kids Inspire’s CEO and Clinical Director, said: “The Essex Violence and Vulnerability Unit grant will give young people support to empower more positive choices. Outcomes include, healthier and improved relationships and friendships, and a reduction in risk taking behaviour for those who have received support.”

All the organisations given VVU grants are providing safe spaces for young people to be themselves, gain the support they need, and have trusted adults they can talk to and confide in.