Welsh homelessness charity Llamau has been awarded funding of £5,000 from the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert.

The money will go towards funding EMPHASIS, Llamau’s innovative programme which prevents homelessness by working intensively with young people and their families. The project turns around the lives of 14-21 year olds living in Newport, Torfaen, Monmouthshire and Caerphilly areas, who are on the brink of dropping out of education or employment; most are socially excluded and are at serious risk of becoming homeless.

The funding for the programme was awarded from Gwent PCC Jeff Cuthbert’s Strategic Commissioning Fund which he can use to support programmes and initiatives which aim to tackle deep rooted community issues, support victims and which are proven to have a positive impact on preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour.

Highlighting the importance of funding programmes such as this one, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, said: “I am pleased to be able to support this programme which will no doubt make a real positive difference in tackling some of the community issues we have in Gwent. It is pleasing to see money from my Strategic Commissioning Fund being used to support the priorities in my police and crime plan. By working together with our local partners, we can have a significant impact on the things that matter most to our communities. Only through strong collaborative working with our partners and by putting the needs of the individual at the heart of all we do can we ensure the best possible quality of life for our citizens. I look forward to seeing the positive results.”

Frances Beecher, Llamau Chief Executive, said: “We are grateful to the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent for this vital grant to support young people across Newport and Monmouthshire whose experiences of neglect and abuse have led to them becoming socially isolated. Often they do not speak to anyone from one week to the next and their only interaction is with a Llamau Support Worker. The grant will enable these people to try new experiences and develop positive hobbies and interests, which will help improve their health and wellbeing, gain confidence, have fun and act as a positive diversion from offending and anti-social behaviour.”