Community cohesion project looking to make Kirklees smile (11 May 2018)

A not for profit community project based in Batley is looking to increase community cohesion across Kirklees.

Batley Smile CIC received £3,510 From the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for West Yorkshire's Safer Communities Fund for their project, The Smile Network.

The Smile Network consists of a team of 'Smilers' - community activists who use social media and engagement to gather and share community good news and positive activity for all sections of the community.

The Smile Network is a network of positive minded people who promote #everydayintegration in Kirklees and support and amplify local initiatives.

Batley Smile CIC was formally created in late 2014 with the aim of developing a variety of community, arts and cultural initiatives supporting the wellbeing of local residents and organisations.

The PCC visited a 'Meet My Neighbours' event yesterday (10/05), arranged by The Smile Network, which brought together local community groups to Dewsbury Town Hall. The focus of the event was to hear the voices of local Dewsbury community groups. The Network coordinated 'two minute hello's' to allow as many groups as possible to participate. The PCC was able to get involved in the 'two minute hellos' to spread the message about his role and Safer Communities Fund.

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's PCC, said: "It's fantastic to see so much effort being put towards raising awareness of the countless positive things that happen across our communities that are so often not reported on or don't get the recognition they deserve.

"Batley Smile CIC's innovative projects are a great way to increase community cohesion which is so important for feelings of safety. My thanks to the team for their hard work, it was clear to see how passionate they were about their communities and long may this continue."

Mark Griffin, Director of BatleySmile CIC, said: "We've long been eager to share Batley's Smile. The Safer Communities Fund made this ambition possible. Thank you. If you've got a community project that means a lot to you, apply!"

To find out more about them visit http://batleysmile.co.uk/

The next round of the Safer Communities Fund opens on May 14 with £200,000 for projects that specifically tackle all forms of serious violent crime, including those focusing on prevention and early intervention, supporting diversion away from crime, protection and education and support for victims of serious violence.

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2018