Charity helping to reduce crime and support vulnerable people in Weston

Weston Mayor Mark Canniford with members of ROC WSM

Weston Mayor Mark Canniford has praised ROC WSM for bringing 'much-needed' hope and help to Weston and Worle. - Credit: Shane Dean

Community leaders have praised a project for bringing 'much-needed' hope and help to people across Weston and Worle. 

The ROC community engagement charity came to Weston 12 months ago and has already had a hugely positive impact with nine different projects underway or ready to go.

ROC WSM has been supporting crime prevention work with Avon and Somerset police and North Somerset Council, with projects to mentor and support families and young people.

More: Charity awarded £4k for projects aimed at reducing violence.

Projects have started to reduce loneliness and isolation, help with anger management, and to support those struggling to pay for food and bills.

There were thousands of acts of kindness during the pandemic, delivering shopping, collecting prescriptions and providing telephone support to help those in need with ongoing initiatives such as tele mentoring.

And there are plans to continue with financial help for residents, providing food clubs and a community fridge, and projects to stop low level crime and run free events to build hope.

Weston mayor Mark Canniford said: “ROC WSM has already done inspirational work on the ground in just a few months in Weston. They are bringing much-needed hope and help to residents.”

More: Weston group awards cash for play therapy to help vulnerable children.

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ROC UK brings together community groups, Foodbanks, scouts, and senior leaders from schools, councils, business, police, fire service, the NHS, voluntary agencies and churches.

They then work together to drive through plans to help those in need with crime prevention, family breakdown, loneliness and mental health.

ROC WSM leaders Dave and Penny Hynds said: “It has been a devastating year for so many, with Covid-19 causing massive disruption to people's lives. 

“We want everyone to know that there are people fighting for them and wanting to help make a safer and kinder community.”

ROC UK founder Debra Green started the Manchester-based organisation in 2004 and received an OBE for her work in 2014, but current demand is on an unprecedented scale.

Debra said: "We are delighted to see Weston take up the programme. 

“The formula works, and with all the huge challenges of the coronavirus hitting home, we are finding that areas are increasingly desperate to have what we are offering.”

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