Commissioner visits organisation giving young people an ‘early break’19 August, 2015
Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has been out on the streets of Hyndburn to see how an organisation is helping give young people in the area an ‘Early Break’.
Clive Grunshaw also met with staff at Early Break, which provides a specialist drug and alcohol services for people up to the age of 21. The organisation is celebrating its 21st year and has operated in East Lancashire for the last nine years, engaging thousands of young people and their families.
The project accepts referrals from young people themselves, family members and carers as well as outside agencies. Early Break also has an Early Intervention Outreach Team, meaning the right support is given to the young people at the earliest possible opportunity.
The Commissioner, who successfully bid for £2.2m from the Home Office for initiatives aimed at preventing vulnerable people falling into a life of crime earlier this year, said: “Early action means engaging with Lancashire’s most vulnerable residents before they reach crisis point – the point at which they place the most demand on the county’s public and voluntary services.
“As we look to work more effectively with a reduced budget, early action programmes like Early Break become even more essential. They help people make positive choices and steer them away from becoming involved in crime, which is a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan.
“Early Break is doing some excellent work to help young people at the earliest stage possible and it was great to see that in action when I visited them.”
Early Break’s Outreach Team started in June 2014 and has since worked with 7,000 young people on the streets of East Lancashire, offering advice and support. Early Break has developed excellent relationships within communities which has helped reduce some anti-social behaviour in communities and safeguarded young people from harm.
Fran Gracie, Early Break’s operational manager, said each young person referred to the organisation is allocated a worker within 24 hours.
She said: “The Commissioner’s visit was paramount.
“As a service we wanted to show Mr Grunshaw how our work can support the police and community safety partnerships in reducing anti-social behaviours and crimes.
“We have also engaged some young people on the streets that were being sexually exploited and potentially may not have been supported if we hadn’t of picked them up. Mr Grunshaw took us up on our offer and came out on an outreach session in the Hyndburn area to see how proactive we were and sampled how we engage young people.
“We really appreciated the Commissioner’s visit and him giving his time in the evening to embrace what we do.”
To make a referral to Early Break, call 01282 604022, fill in a referral form at www.earlybreak.co.uk or by send an email to