Gloucester's anti-knife crime charity closes after losing funding

Image caption, Founder Delroy Ellis said it had to close for the "time being" due to the "financial crisis" it was in

An anti-knife crime charity has had to suspend its work with young people due to a lack of funding.

Increase the Peace was set up in 2008 to try to steer young people in Gloucester away from carrying knives.

Gloucestershire's police and crime commissioner (PCC) has funded the charity since 2013, but said its bid for £200,000 was "unsustainable".

Founder Delroy Ellis said it had to shut its doors for the "time being" due to the "financial crisis" it was in.

Increase the Peace has been a registered charity since 2013, working with up to 80 young people a week, according to Mr Ellis.

But despite the "high amount of knife incidents in the county", the charity's founder said it "cannot operate" until it has secured adequate funding.

"At the moment we're in a financial crisis. We've had to shut our doors for the time being to look at where we move forward from here," he said.

"I won't give up without a fight but I don't know where we're going to get funding from."

Image source, BBC
Image caption, The charity staged a peace walk through the streets of Gloucester last summer

The charity had applied to the commissioner's fund for £218,261 to be paid out over four years.

Mr Ellis said the additional funds were needed to cover both the charity's centre in Gloucester and an outreach programme it has developed over the past four years.

But PCC Martin Surle said with "no funding from any other source" the bid "was unsustainable".

"It was the grant of £32,643 [Increase the Peace] received in 2013 which has enabled it to continue operating until now," he said.

"In their application then, the management team stated their aim was to make the main centre and other parts of the project self funding within four years. I am sorry they have not been able to achieve that."

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