South Yorkshire to be made safer thanks to fire authority grants totalling £700,000

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Vulnerable people across South Yorkshire will be made safer thanks to fire service grants totalling £700,000.

A group of 19 charities and community organisations have been awarded cash from South Yorkshire Fire Authority’s ‘Safer Stronger Communities’ fund.

The scheme, now in its second year, is the only fire service backed grant scheme of its kind.

It sees grants awarded to organisations which help the vulnerable, promote fire safety and improve the health and wellbeing of people.

Groups could bid for a maximum of £150,000.

Projects funded by the cash include a ‘fire buddies’ scheme which will recruit and train volunteers to visit isolated older people in Sheffield’s poorest areas.

In Rotherham the cash will pay for a project to develop road safety education materials suitable for people with autism and learning disabilities.

Fire Authority Chairman, Councillor Jim Andrews, said: “By giving these grants to well researched, well planned projects to support our work in some of South Yorkshire’s most vulnerable neighbourhoods we are, in effect, fire proofing the county.

“The first year of funding highlighted how even a small amount of financial support from the Fire Authority can enable local communities to make a real difference in improving fire safety.

“This year, the fund was once more heavily over-subscribed so 19 projects the Authority has decided to award funding to really are the best of the best.”

Deputy Chief Fire Officer John Roberts, said: “Fires have been falling steadily in South Yorkshire for many years and the county is safer now than it has been at any time in its history. But for as long as people continue to suffer the devastating effects of fires, there will always be more work to do.”