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Learn about the organisations and their projects who received funding from the VRN Community Grants Fund for 2020-2021:


Bangladesh Youth and Cultural Shomiti (BYCS)

Project Name:    Our Place

Bangladesh Youth and Cultural Shomiti (BYCS), is one of the longest serving community organisations in Leicester. Their services attract people of all ages including young people of school age, teenagers on accredited learning programmes, youth and adults employability projects, parents and older people, including lone parents and people with disabilities.

The Our Place Highfields project works with the whole community including school children and involves individuals coming together to explore the concerns of the local community and how to make it safer for all those living and working in the area in a non-confrontational way.

This project will be used to gather information and work towards a lasting violent crime reduction initiative locally. The main aim will be to get the different ethnic groups together and demonstrate a shared concerns, fears and agree ways of improving the current situation. Through the workshops BYCS will learn, inform, educate and raise awareness of the issues affecting the entire community. 

For more information about Bangladesh Youth and Cultural Shomiti visit their twitter page  @bycs14


The Ebb Leicester

Project Name:    Time to Change Campaign

The Ebb Leicester is a support group for the families of prisoners and young offenders, and co-ordinates the Time to Change campaign to raise awareness of the needs of children and young people with a family member in prison.

The Homework Club for children with a parent in prison launched at Merrydale Junior School, LE5 in October 2020.  Offering homework support and arts and craft activities, the project aims to create a safe space that encourages self-belief, self-expression and creativity to build a connection with one another supporting resilience.

The focus is on establishing a supportive network of people going through similar situations in a confidential and non-judgemental environment. 

For more information about The Ebb Leicester visit their twitter page at:  @TheEbbLeicester


KB In the Community

Project Name:    Leicester Sporting Futures

KB in the Community is a social enterprise which specialises in using sport as a tool to engage hard to reach young people. They use their expertise to support individuals and community organisation to more effectively deploy proven methodologies and services, particularly those which target crime, anti-social and risky behaviour amongst young people.

The project targets young people involved in risky behaviour, isolated during lockdown, whose education/employment opportunities has been affected and who are affected by criminal activity.

KB in the Community also undertake work with partner organisations to focus on building young peoples’ confidence and building a strong basis of trust. Small groups and intensive one-to-one sessions with young people at extreme risk are delivered face-to-face (socially distanced) and remotely.


Leicester City in the Community (LCitC)

Project Name:    Kicks Mentoring Project

Leicester City in the Community (LCitC) are the official charity of Leicester City Football Club (LCFC).

All LCitC services and activities relate to three fundamental themes, Education, Community Engagement and Health and Wellbeing, and the purpose of their Community Engagement theme is to;

Engage all communities to provide activities and programmes that respond to local challenges and need.

The Kicks Mentoring Project creates a mentoring referral pathway from local schools and organisations for young people in need of additional support to cope with the impact of COVID19 and reintegrate into school/college/community provision.

The programme is delivered with support from key partner agencies including Charnwood Borough Council, Community Safety Partnership, Youth Services and Police, to ensure that those most in need of support are engaged in the programme.

For more information about Leicester City in the Community visit their twitter page at: @LCFC_Community


Leicester Combat Academy (LCA)

Project Name:    Saving Lives

Leicester Combat Academy (LCA) is a unique club that has been running since 2012. They offer Boxing, Freestyle Wrestling, Mixed Martial Arts and educational development. The members of the club range from the age of 5 years and upwards and the club operates 7 days a week.

The objective of the club is to make a difference within the community, impacting on anti-social behaviour, focusing on social isolation, minimizing crime and working to create a respectful and tolerant community.

This project they have been funded to deliver will allow young people to take part in high intensity boxing and fitness sessions free of cost.


Leicester Community Services

Project Name:    Inspiring Youth

The Inspiring Youth Project creates a platform and forum, for young people, giving them educational and practical experience to enable them to mentor other young people.

Young people in the project will also be involved in the distribution of food parcels and hot meals and other resources. This will empower them to do good and become positive role models in society.

For more information about Leicester Community Services visit their twitter page at: @LCSCIC


Leicestershire Cares

Project Name:    Carer Pathways

Leicestershire Cares is a small charity that brokers partnerships and creates opportunities across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to enable the business sector to:

  • Understand community needs

  • Contribute to the growth of inclusive, safe communities

  • Support and inspire children and young people in their transition to the workplace and to have their voices heard about the issues affecting them

The aim of this project is to divert care experienced young people (CEYP) away from violence through the exploration of key issues and the co-production of a resource which helps to address youth violence in their community. The project creates resilience and pathways to healing and recovery for CEYP, and supports them to add their lived experience to national and local debates about the over-representation of CEYP in the Criminal Justice System CJS). 

The project also works with external agencies to deliver workshops on topics around conflict resolution, domestic abuse, hate crime, healthy relationships and dealing with trauma.

The project will also create an information pack that will share knowledge and insight of the issues. This will be shared amongst their community as well as stakeholders to inform their protocols when dealing with CEYP.

For more information about Leicestershire Cares visit their twitter page at: @LeicsCares



Project Name:    Parents Advisory Group/ Family intervention

Maandhis supports young people and their families in engaging with local community programmes. Currently working on mentoring young people in different areas of Leicester, Maandhis also aims to create a safe space for dialogue between young people, parents and the local community.

The Parents Advisory Group project provides community outreach and mentoring to young people and families to develop stronger relationships and ignite a life change away from crime; building greater community resilience.

Mentors provide outreach and community mentoring to young people on selected evenings of the week, signposting them to activities that are taking place in the area. A Parents Advisory Group also comes together to share their concerns, discuss current issues and come up with solutions to support the needs of the community.

For more information about Maandhis visit their twitter page at: @Maandhis1


Leicester Nirvana Football Club

Project Name:    Mentoring Change

Leicester Nirvana Football Club (Nirvana) nurtures junior talent from the age of 5 years up to under 18’s, providing a clear pathway for young players to develop in to men’s football in the non-league pyramid system.

Nirvana is known for developing young talented players and strong teams, with many of those teams playing at the higher end of the league structures.

Today, Nirvana embodies more than a football club and aims to be a platform that allows young people life changing opportunities via football or other arenas. With a strong community focus, Nirvana continues to fuse football and the sporting development of individuals, with the wider support of advocacy to influence public policy and the decisions that ultimately affect its members.

The Mentoring Change aims to provide an alternative pathway of qualifications in sport, as a partial exit strategy away from violence.

The project will be a targeted intervention and will support young people who are either on the verge of criminality or who are already on the pathway.

  • Outreach coaches will engage and, in some cases, re-engage vulnerable young people identified through our club and networks.

  • Help young people attain a Level 1 or Level 2 football qualification or referee qualification. Alongside this they will also complete a first aid course and developing an understanding if safeguarding through the FA Safeguarding in Football qualification.


For more information about Leicester Nirvana Football Club visit their twitter page at: @LeicNirvanaFC



Project Name:    Generation 2020

Outspoken empowers individuals, especially those often silenced by fear, violence or stigma. They aim to have open discussions and debates, work with other organisations collaboratively and use creative writing/arts to allow young people to express themselves. Outspoken also aims to build meaningful relationships with others in order to build to stronger, happier and more positive community.

As part of the Generation 2020 project Outspoken will conduct youth specific surveys and set up a youth panel.

The Youth Survey, specific to Highfields and St Matthews includes:

  • Surveys and discussions with young people under the age of 25.

  • Partnership working with other local VCS groups to gain access to their audience.

  • Listening to what young people say they want and need, and use their feedback to produce a short report.

The aims of the Youth Panel are:

  • To provide a platform for young people to have a voice and to share their feelings and thoughts with each other and with stakeholders.

  • To deliver youth group sessions covering introduction to young people, social media training and 1-1 personal interests.


For more information about Outspoken visit their twitter page at: @Outspoken_rh


The Somali Community Parents Association

Project Name:    Community Together

The Somali Community Parents Association is based in the St Matthew’s neighbourhood of Leicester.  It was established in 2011 and provides a range of community support services, education, and health-related programmes as well as community leadership and advocacy. 

Community Together is a train the trainer project to support the delivery of the Connect Parenting Programme by Dr Osman, a senior lecturer at Dalarna University in Sweden.

Staff will be trained on how to deliver the 12-week Connect programme. This training uses course material adapted for the UK and SOCOPA staff and volunteers will run 3, 12-week sessions.

SOCOPA staff and volunteers will also deliver weekly sports sessions for fathers and sons using the Cruyff pitch in St Matthew’s from October through to end of February 2021.

For more information about The Somali Community Parents Association visit their twitter page at: @InfoSocopa


Somali Development Services

Project Name:    inspiring Youth

Somali Development Services is a community interest company (CIC) located in the Highfields area of Leicester. The aim of the organisation is to provide aid and support to those who need it the most. 

A qualified family support worker, an admin staff and volunteers will work in this project to support families in the area by giving them information, advice, guidance, one-to-one and group support. Where appropriate referrals will also be made to other agencies. In addition, each family will be given a mentor who will help draw up a bespoke action plan for the individual family and schedule regular online meetings to see what progress has been made in achieving the goals of the action plan.

For more information about Somali Development Services visit their twitter page at: @TheSDSltd


Women 4 Change

Project Name:    Know Your Rights

Women 4 Change are a community group created by local women from all walks of life who have come together to challenge problems faced by the community. The group exists to educate, support and empower local women and youth’s in the community.

Their aims include

  • Creating a safe place for young people to steer them away from criminality and violence

  • Motivating young people to putting their efforts towards bettering themselves and their local community

  • Supporting local communities to gain access to their local centres and libraries which exist within their area

  • Supporting local communities to gain access to employment, training and education.


The project is a workshop and learning based initiative, helping to provide specific tools to young people within the St Matthews and surrounding areas. The project will embed a foundation of knowledge to young people around the following issues:

  • Knowing your rights - it is important for young people to feel empowered to understand the basic elements of the law. They should understand the low that governs them and the rights that protect them.

  • Reporting crime – overcoming the barriers that exist in reporting crimes.  Through understanding the carious ways there are to report crime such as anonymously. This will include reporting crime in general.

  • Restorative Justice – understanding the impact that crime has and the various ways to start the healing process for both the victim and perpetrator.

  • Hate Crime – breaking down the different hate crimes that exist and what that entails.

  • Self-identity – understanding the perception or recognition of one's characteristics as a particular individual, especially in relation to social context.


For more information about Women 4 Change visit their twitter page at: @Women4changeLei