A SCHEME to help teenage girls to deal with social and mental health problems has been visited by Lancashire’s police and crime commissioner to see first-hand how it is using a cash grant he authorised.

Clive Grunshaw dropped in on Blackburn's The Billy Project Juniors which received a grant from his Community Action Fund financed by money seized from criminals.

The scheme helps girls and young women aged from 13 to 19 from across the Blackburn and Darwen area to build self-confidence, linking in with other organisations and signposting for further support if appropriate.

Based at U2 Get Fit in the Mill Hill, it is part of The Billy Project catering for women identified as vulnerable, isolated, victims of domestic violence, suffering alcohol or drug issues, facing family problems, or physical and learning disabilities.

The junior scheme builds community links with individuals who may otherwise have little to do and engages with the unique problems younger people face capitalising on The Billy Project’s partnerships with GPs, schools, parents and others.

Mr Grunshaw said: “This project builds on the great work being done by the Billy Project shows we will do what we can to support organisations who are supporting their communities and vulnerable people. Being able to utilise the proceeds of crime to support projects like this is fantastic.”

Kerry Cameron, from the project, said: “It is a safe place to meet new people from different backgrounds and exercise in a positive, female environment. The change in the girls has been fantastic. All reported improvements in their anxiety and mental health.”

Cllr Andy Kay, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s deputy leader, said: “It is good to see this money being invested in projects like this.”

Sessions run on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4pm to 5pm and on Saturdays between 9.30 and 10.30am.