A brand new service aimed at helping young victims of crime living in Lancashire has been launched by Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw.

The service – Nest Lancashire – provides confidential support and advice for young people who have experienced crime either as a victim or as a witness.

The Commissioner launched his new service on a special visit to Blackpool Sixth Form College on Wednesday 29 June.

DSC05099 - smallYoungsters aged ten to 18 will benefit from one to one support, group sessions with other young people, access to sports and social activities and help to rebuild their confidence and to feel safe again following an incident.

The service also offers support in reporting a crime and going through the criminal justice system should a case go to court. It doesn’t matter if the crime took place a long time ago or if it hasn’t been reported to the police.

Nest Lancashire forms part of Lancashire Victim Services which was established by the Commissioner to offer support to all victims of crime across the county after PCCs were made responsible for commissioning victim services locally in April 2015. The service will be delivered through a consortium of local providers with experience in working with young people which is led by Groundwork.

As part of his visit to Blackpool Sixth Form College the Commissioner met with local students as part of the launch.

Clive Grunshaw said: “I have launched Nest Lancashire to ensure that Lancashire’s young people can access the support they deserve following a crime. Being a victim of crime can be a very difficult thing to get over and Nest offers extra comfort and support, particularly to those who may not have family support or struggle to share their ordeal with loved ones.

“Nest Lancashire will ensure that our young people can access support when they need it in a way that suits them best.

“It’s been fantastic to visit Blackpool Sixth Form College to tell the students about the service and to be able to answer their questions.”

Mike Crowther, Programme Director for Groundwork added: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office. Groundwork is all about changing places and changing lives.

“We are really looking forward to using our experience of working with young people and our understanding of the key issues that affect them, to ensure that young victims of crime receive the vital support they need, where and when they need it.”

Blackpool Sixth student Joseph Piper, 17, who is studying BTEC Level 3 Public Services commented, “I think the Nest Lancashire service is a really good idea.  The support and counselling is very important for young people who are victims of crime.  I also like the offer of things like free sports activities which would be a good way for young people to cope with the stress of being a victim of crime.”

Fellow Public Services student, Jerdine Farrell, 17, said, “I think it’s important that every young person who is a victim of crime gets individual help that is personalised to their needs.”   She welcomed the Nest Lancashire service, saying that it would help provide a ‘safety net’ for young people.

Young people can text NEST to 60777 or call the local number 0300 111 0323 to get help.

A new website offering help, support and advice will be up and running soon. www.nestlancashire.org