Two Herefordshire charities are celebrating substantial grants to further their work with vulnerable young people in the county.

The Safer Communities Fund grant scheme is awarded by Herefordshire Council with advice from West Mercia Police and its police and crime commissioner, whose office jointly funds the scheme.

The Cart Shed, which helps those with mental or emotional difficulties through woodland and horticultural work at its Norton Canon base between Hereford and Kington, will get £143,260 from it.

“This will enable two existing age groups for Young Cart Shed, covering ages 14-25, to continue, but will also help us provide this service for children aged 10-13 as they struggle with the transition from primary to secondary school, helping them to build the resilience and confidence,” its business development and fundraising manager Alex Fitzpatrick said.

Since the pandemic, pupils’ school attendance “has become a real issue for many struggling with anxiety and depression”, he added. “Our working model provides an alternative to other approaches such as counselling.”

Meanwhile Ledbury-based Christian charity LEAF (Locally Encouraging All to Flourish) is to get £78,718 from the fund, for several initiatives.

These include employing a full-time youth worker to run a new youth facility to be based at St Katherine’s Hall in the town, where LEAF hopes to take on a new long-term lease, its leader Tony Hodder explained.

The cash will also help fund a new part-time alternative school provision coordinator to work with local primary schools, and a part-time families worker and school counsellor to provide therapeutic support to children.

The grant scheme is intended to help tackle early the root causes of crime, vulnerability, exploitation and anti-social behaviour, particularly among children and young people.