Nearly £800,000 worth of Government funding has been announced to support children’s services in the Keyham area following the tragedy in August.
A large proportion of the £799,894 grant will cover staff costs to help and support children and young people affected by the horrific event.
There will be more children’s social care workers and family support staff to help the team working with victims; Early Help interventions to reduce risk of escalation; educational psychologist support to school staff so they can meet the needs of pupils and their families most affected; and a trauma-informed training programme for Early Years staff and other frontline professionals.
In the longer term the funding will help assess the success of Early Help, strengthen partner and community responses and spread trauma-informed skills across social work and partners.
The announcement from the Department for Education is the latest tranche of money from central government to the Keyham community following more than £1m of additional funding for community safety, policing and support services for the victims and witnesses which was announced in September.
Government Minster for Children and Families Will Quince said: “The resilience that the Plymouth community has shown in response to the shocking events that took place in Keyham earlier this year is truly remarkable.
“No one should have to witness something of this nature, but for a child it can be particularly disturbing. This funding will go towards early help and wellbeing services so that the young people and families affected get the right advice and support. It's vital that we keep all those affected by the shooting at the heart of our work with the community, to help them recover and take positive steps forward."
The announcement has been welcomed by city leaders including Luke Pollard, MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, and Plymouth City Council Leader Nick Kelly.
Luke Pollard MP said: “I want to pay tribute to the way our community has stepped up and supported one another.
“In Parliament I have made the case that the children and young people affected by the shooting must get the support they deserve. This new funding for our schools will make a huge difference to the children in our city that have been so heavily impacted by the shooting.
“I’m pleased that all of us in Plymouth have come together to make the case for this funding – this really is a ‘Team Plymouth’ effort. I know we will need to do more to ensure the support gets to the people who need it, as well as making the case to change the law around guns to ensure no community ever again faces what Keyham has.”
Council Leader Nick Kelly said: “This announcement is very welcome news for the Keyham community and surrounding areas.
“Many of our children and young people would have been deeply affected by the awful event which took place just over three months ago and this money will be used to directly support them as they come to terms with what happened.
“As a city we are healing from the event of August 12 and funding focused on education is crucial to that recovery as we put the mental health and wellbeing of our young people first.
“But there is still more to be done to help every section of the Keyham communities and we will continue to work with central government to ensure that more support is forthcoming as our recovery from such a devastating event could take many years.”
Additional support for Keyham
Thousands of pounds has so far been raised for the families of the victims and Keyham community as kind-hearted Plymouth residents continue to donate to the Plymouth Together Fund. Events are taking place every week for the appeal which is run by the not-for-profit organisation the Wolseley Trust. For more details visit www.plymouthtogether.co.uk/donate
A number of support services are also in place including the Community Hub based at Keyham Green Places, 163 Renown Street. Every weekday staff and volunteers are on hand to welcome residents, listen to their concerns, and signpost to the many professional agencies who can provide help and support for those affected by what happened. For more details visit: www.plymouthtogether.co.uk/community-hub-for-keyham/
The council also runs the Plymouth Together website which is a hub of information on the variety of help and support available for adults, children and families. It also features up-to-date information on news and events in the area as well as a number of useful fundraising resources.