Telford & Wrekin Council’s Safer & Stronger Communities project has delivered ‘extensive’ community support in its first year having spoken directly with thousands of residents and helped launch at least 20 new projects across the borough.
Originally established to tackle concerns around neighbourhood safety and to create long term support for community groups, the project is working with residents to ensure funding is spent in the way residents deem fit.
Cabinet member for Safer and Stronger Communities, Councillor Paul Watling (Labour) said: “A year isn’t very long but the team have already achieved so much and delivered extensive support to a whole host of community groups.
“Like the ladies netball in Hadley providing a supportive group where women can keep fit or the youth club in Woodside where young people have a safe place to spend their free time or the line dancing in Ketley helping to reduce loneliness in older people, each project is unique to an area and has been set up by talking to residents to see what they would like to see happen.
“It’s only by people coming forward to work with us that allows us to deliver what the community needs and where it’s needed and I’m incredibly proud of the team who are working with residents day in day out to make sure we deliver the right support.
More than 30 children age 12+ now attend the Woodside youth club on a weekly basis, more than 100 young people play free football on Friday evenings at venues across the borough, a group of 10-15 veterans attend a support group each week.
The council is working to ensure the funding reaches diverse groups like the Asian ladies cycling group as well as more than 50 free sports sessions for young people being held during the summer holidays as a few examples.
Self-defence and boxing clubs, crime prevention schemes and rehabilitation programmes as well as book, chess and gardening clubs have all been established to create community support groups, some helping guard against loneliness and others aiding longer term crime prevention.
The project has also delivered localised access to council support services around affordable warmth and energy grants, financial guidance, healthy lifestyles teams, support with work and training through Job Box as well as volunteering and support for setting up community support groups.
Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said “The investments I have made in the Safer and Stronger Communities project, alongside Telford and Wrekin Council are proving to make a real impact.
“We have been able to give communities a voice and use this voice to make the communities better and safer. The close partnership is a ground-breaking approach, which focuses on prevention and tackling crime and anti-social behaviour at the root. We will continue to strive to create a community where everyone feels safe.”
The council has invested £2m and is working in partnership with the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) John Campion who is providing a further £500k to be delivered over a two year period.
Safer & Stronger Communities, builds on the success of Safer Streets Brookside, launched in November 2021. The area had the highest volume of crime in Telford and as a result of the partnership, overall crime rates have been significantly reduced – some instances by more than 50 per cent.
If you would like to see a new community group or measures put in place to help create a stronger community then please get in touch with one of three neighbourhood co-ordinators or email to find out when team will be in your area at [email protected]