Community groups with innovative ideas to help reduce nuisance fires are being offered grants of up to £3,000 from Cleveland Fire Brigade.
Some 85% of Cleveland’s fire calls are related to deliberate fires – the highest in the country – and divert resources away from other emergencies where lives may be at risk.
Latest figures show there were nearly 4,000 deliberate fires in the Brigade area in 2021.
Helen Winskill, Commissioned Services Manager, said: “We are looking for projects with innovative approaches to engaging with people who are setting fires or projects that reduce the opportunity for arsonists to start fires. We know where the fires are happening. We need your help to prevent them.
We encourage community groups to think outside the box and be creative.
“We are offering small grants and you can apply for any amount up to £3,000. We expect projects to be completed within 12 months of the grant being issued. Your application must tell us what you want to do and why you believe this approach will help us.
“The ideas will be targeted on hotspot areas across Cleveland and application packs will include full guidance notes and outline these areas. All projects will be evaluated to see if they have a positive impact on reducing deliberate fires.”
The Brigade has £15,000 available for grants. The projects can include diversionary activities for young people, new physical structures or cleaning up the local environment.
Applicants must fit in with at least one of the following criteria:
- Reduce the number of incidents of arson
- Reduce the opportunity for people to deliberately set fires
- Reduce violence to Fire Brigade staff
Community Ventures in Middlesbrough received a grant in a previous round of applications. Rachel Gault ,Operations Director, said:
“Thanks to Cleveland Fire Brigade’s small grants scheme, Community Ventures’ Boy’s in Blue group have been able to access monthly gym and boxing sessions with Sport England coaches. This was our first time applying for the grant and we found the application process very simple. After submitting the bid the team came to meet us to understand a bit more about our organisation and following the visit awarded us with the grant. The Fire Brigade pop in regular now and even arranged for our Boys in Blue to visit the fire station. “
Applications close on Wednesday 02 March 2022.