A project which helps young people in some of Huddersfield’s most deprived communities has received a £6,000 boost from the Mayor of West Yorkshire.

Conscious Youth, based in Huddersfield town centre, has been given the cash from Mayor Tracey Brabin’s Safer Communities Fund.

The fund takes money seized from criminals and puts it back into projects aimed at making communities safer. Conscious Youth will use the money to help empower and build the confidence of young women in Kirklees.

Since 2016, Conscious Youth has supported over 9,000 young people through workshops, youth events, self-development programmes and more.

As one of the latest beneficiaries of the fund, their grant from Mayor Brabin has been channelled into their innovative project, Conscious Girls, a youth programme aiming to improve the mental and emotional resilience of young women aged 12-16.

The programme delivers life-skills and confidence building sessions to attendees on topics including self-care, sexual and domestic abuse awareness, financial literacy and consent.

Alison Lowe and Tracy Brabin

West Yorkshire’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Alison Lowe OBE, visited the project this week and said: “Both the Mayor and I are absolutely committed to keeping women and girls safe in West Yorkshire.

“To do so, we need to work with organisations and communities across our region. This includes supporting the next generation of young women, giving them the tools and confidence to thrive.

“It is fantastic that the Mayor’s Safer Communities Fund has taken money recovered by West Yorkshire Police from criminals and used it to help Conscious Youth expand and reach more young people in Kirklees.”

Sophie Simpson, Conscious Youth’s co-founder and director of operations, said: “The funding that we have received from the Mayor’s Safer Communities Fund has supported us in expanding our Conscious Girls Provision.

“Through Conscious Girls we are aiming to empower and uplift young women by encouraging them to take part in workshops focusing on important issues for their personal safety and wellbeing.

“This has now led onto the successful launch of our Friday Hangout. This is a safe space that young people from 12-17 years old who are able to drop in, eat and socialise with other young people from across Kirklees.”

The Duchess of York met Conscious Youth founders Sophie Simpson (left) and Serena Johnson in Deighton in 2021

In 2022, the Mayor’s Safer Communities Fund directed over £354,000 into 67 women and girls’ projects, impacting more than 20,000 people in West Yorkshire.

Other funded projects working with girls and young women include Friends of Honley who are using their funding to support teenage girls through workshops on online safety, healthy relationships and bullying.

Find out more about Conscious Youth and their services on their website.