A number of community organisations around Lancashire have been awarded free security kits through the Secure Communities Scheme. Applications from Lancashire based community groups asked for help to lock up premises, protect equipment and prevent theft and vandalism. To date the scheme has helped over 70 organisations since March 2020 including sports clubs, a young people’s club and an allotment in Lancashire. Originally launching at the end of 2019, the Scheme offered cash and security products but changed its terms in at the start of the Pandemic to be able to help more communities during the Covid-19 crisis and is currently offering security kits up to the value of £150.
Burnley Boys & Girls Club has a history going back 122 years and the local community in Burnley has long looked to this club to help its young girls and boys towards a positive future. Although the area around the club is faced with many challenges, the facilities have remained a lifeline, offering a safe haven to local young people aged 5-25. When the club is running as usual, many of the members arrive by bike. While there is a bike rack, the club’s organisers were aware that cycles were still being left unlocked. The area around the site also saw an upturn in violent crime.
Running a successful cricket club like Lancashire-based Darwen Cricket Club normally focuses on team selection, match fixtures, transport and team teas. But during the pandemic, the Darwen Cricket Club has had to focus on how to keep the equipment and premises safe and secure in the absence of its members and on-site sight activity. The club is more used to training and organising its teams of both men and women and engaging its younger members, some as young as 5, in the joys of willow on leather. Over 100 years in age (founded in 1911) the club has been very successful becoming Lancashire Champions in 2018 and is ambitious for more success as soon as the restrictions allow. For the meantime, however, the issue of security has been a focus of concern.
Blackburn Youth Darts Academy is a unique training facility for young darts players and was another successful recipient of the Secure Communities Scheme. Offering access to competitions at a local and national level whilst working with professional players and coaches, the club attracts players from all over the North West. Due to its success, the club recently relocated to bigger premises and invested in new kit (including laptops and tablets) to help with training. This however, brought with it a concern for the security of the new equipment.
The Secure Communities Scheme has supplied free security kits to all each of these three organisations, as well as Earby Cricket Club and Brierfield Children’s Community Allotment. In every case, the aim is to help community organisations secure premises, property and equipment. The kits were tailored to the needs of each contained products such as a safe, keyed alike padlocks, security chains, personal alarms, bike locks and more.
Graham Vernon, Centre Manager for the Burnley Boys and Girls Club, commented: “Many of our young members come with an array of vulnerabilities, challenges and needs, the security products awarded to us through the Secure Communities Scheme will help us to remain a safe haven for them while we continue to support them and other members of the community”
Speaking for the Blackburn Youth Darts Academy, Keith Brunt commented: “We would like to say a big thank you to Burg-Wächter for the safe we received through the Secure Communities Scheme. This is a great addition to the security of our academy’s electronic equipment, especially as our darts community is continuing to grow in size.”
Mark Pearson from Burg-Wächter, the company behind the Secure Communities Scheme commented: “Burg-Wächter is known for its comprehensive choice of locking products as well as an extensive range of safes and post-boxes. We saw a rise in demand for such products during the Covid-19 lockdown. We knew that communities would struggle to meet the unexpected cost of providing extra security during the restrictions, so we adapted our existing Secure Communities Scheme to reflect this need. Since lockdown commenced, we have provided over 20 security kits worth £150 each to communities across the UK, with many more applications currently being processed. We hope the Scheme’s support for organisations, such as the sports clubs, allotment and Boys & Girls Club in Lancashire will allow these groups to continue the work they do within the community without the added burden of security worries.”
The Secure Communities Scheme is now seeking more applications from community projects that are still affected by the pandemic restrictions. Any local initiative that is run by or supports the local community can apply. Successful applicants receive a tailored security kit to help secure property, premises, equipment or storage areas to the value of £150. Successful applications are selected dependent on their engagement with local communities, the impact of the lockdown on security requirements and the benefits that increased security can provide.
Application forms for the Secure Communities Scheme can be found here: https://uk.burg.biz/community/
More information on each of the community organisations mentioned above can be found here:
Burnley Boys & Girls Club – https://www.bbgc.org.uk/
Darwen Cricket Club – https://www.darwencricketclub.com/
Blackburn Youth Darts Academy – https://blackburnyouthdartsacademy.co.uk/
Earby Cricket Club – https://www.earbycc.co.uk/
Brierfield Children’s Community Allotment – https://www.facebook.com/Brierfield-Childrens-Community-Allotment-645544499281807/