DPFCC Mike Johnson, visited Egremont RUFC Valkyries Girls Rugby Team to see how they have benefitted from the Property Fund.

The Property Fund is held by the OPFCC which receives funds from the Police (Property) Act 1997 and the Powers of Criminal Courts Act 1973, which the PFCC then distributes to community-based causes that enable young and vulnerable people to be supported via local clubs, groups, and activities.

Matthew Greenough, Coach at Egremont RUFC for under 14s and under 16s, successfully bid for £2083.32 in early 2023 with the support of PCSO Simon Kane.

The funding has been used to set up an all-girls rugby team supporting players up to 16 and 17 years old and provided 23 full kits, 26 rugby balls, training bibs, training cones and slalom poles.

The team sessions are run by volunteers with the aim of linking the sessions into subjects such as anti-social behaviour (ASB), wellbeing, healthy relationships, domestic abuse, and drug/alcohol use. The team will focus on young women that have already been involved in ASB or crime or have been victims of crime.

Speaking on his visit, DPFCC Mike Johnson, said: “Egremont RUFC have provided a positive activity for young women in the area to take part in and I’m really pleased that I was able to support them through our Property Fund.

“Property Fund is all about supporting community driven projects that help to reduce crime and make our residents safer and this initiative fits in perfectly."

Matthew Greenough, coach at Egremont RUFC for under 14s and under 16s. said: “I want to say thank you from Egremont RUFC for the funding received from the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.

“It’s gone a long way to help the future of girls rugby at the club.”

PCSO Simon Kane, Copeland Neighbourhood Policing Team, added: “It is pleasing to see that money generated and seized from those who commit crime is redistributed into very worthwhile initiatives within our communities.

“Sport plays a crucial role in bringing people together and we wholeheartedly support Egremont RUFC in combining a passion for rugby with learning about themes which can benefit the wider community.”