MERSEYSIDE'S Police Commissioner marked her first year in office by launching the summer Youth Diversion Fund, to help ease holiday hardship and offer positive activities for young people across the region.

Emily Spurrell, who started in post a year ago today, warned that the school holidays can be a particularly hard time for young people from families who are struggling.

The six-week holiday is also a time when communities across Merseyside often see a spike in anti-social behaviour, causing concern and distress for local families and acting as a drain on police resources.

To help ease the pressure, the PCC is extending her successful Youth Diversion Fund to run over the summer months and is inviting community and grassroot organisations to bid for funds to run projects which will provide positive diversionary activities, such as sports, arts, or cultural activities, for young people right across Merseyside.

A total of £100,00 is available from the fund and organisations can bid for a one-off cash boost of up to £5,000 to provide safe, supervised summer activities for young people and help reduce ASB in their communities during the six week’s holiday.

Emily Spurrell said: "Many young people who get involved with behaviour which becomes anti-social don't have access to positive activities and opportunities to keep them safe and engaged. They feel have nowhere to go and nothing to do.

"Families who were already struggling and are now facing a huge rise in the cost of living, simply don't have the money to pay for holidays or organised clubs during the six week’s school break. They are striving to make ends meet and are focused on paying for food and rent.

"The more we can offer exciting, safe opportunities for young people which keep them occupied and engaged, the fewer victims there will be and the safer our communities will feel.

"This gives young people a brighter future, while helping to create nicer, better places to live, and reducing the burden on the police during a particularly busy time of the year."

It is the second round of funding from the PCC’s Youth Diversion, using money raised through the Police Property Act which sees money from the sale of unclaimed stolen goods or property recovered by the police which cannot be returned to be diverted into worthwhile causes supporting communities.

Nearly 6,500 young people enjoyed activities during Halloween and Bonfire Night, thanks to the last round of funding which was released to fund projects running over the busy autumn half term.

The Youth Diversion Fund is administered by the Community Foundation for Merseyside, (CFM) on behalf of the Commissioner. CFM holds funds from individuals and organisations as donors who wish to support deserving causes in Merseyside.

All applications must be submitted online via the Community Foundation for Merseyside by 4pm on Friday, June 10.

To apply, visit .