A special project aimed at helping women in Denbighshire who have suffered from domestic abuse has had a £2,500 financial boost thanks to cash confiscated from crooks.

The Freedom Programme, run by the North Wales Domestic Abuse Safety Unit (DASU), looks at the attitudes, beliefs and actions of abusive men to help their victims come to terms with the abuse they suffered.

The innovative scheme, which will benefit as many as 20 Denbighshire women at a time, has received the cash from a special fund distributed by North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones.

It will be used to facilitate a series of courses over the year and is from the Your Community, Your Choice initiative which is also supported by the North Wales Police and Community Trust (PACT) which is celebrating its 21st anniversary.

The money for the awards came partly from money seized by the courts through the Proceeds of Crime Act with the rest from the Police Commissioner’s Fund.

Each of the region’s six counties have up to £2,500 apiece for two groups with £5,000 each for two organisations that operate in three or more counties.

In addition this year, thanks to additional funding from the police and crime commissioner and North Wales Police, there are two new grants of £10,000.

The larger grants are designed to fund projects addressing issues related to the emerging threat of County Lines, where young people are being coerced and threatened with violence to take part in illegal activity across the region.

Around 15,000 votes were cast in an online poll to decide which of the community schemes received support, with the cheque presentation to 19 successful applicants at North Wales Police headquarters in Colwyn Bay.

DASU head of operations Rhian Lewis says the £2,500 means the Freedom Programme will now benefit Denbighshire women in the same way it has Flintshire victims of domestic abuse.

She said: “It’s about helping women understand life choices and what was happening to them. We have run the programme in Flintshire for some time and helped 20 women at a time make sense of domestic abuse.

“But there was no funding to help women in Denbighshire and there really is a need for it. This cash boost will make a big difference to a great many women and children who have been victims of abuse.”

DASU refuge manager Rachel Roberts says the Freedom Programme shows in detail how children are affected by being exposed to abuse and how their lives are improved when the abuse is removed.

The grants from a special fund distributed by North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones this year totals a record £61,901.

Denbighshire’s other successful applicants were Rhyl Youth Amateur Boxing Club which received £2,000 for its work with young people in the town and Youth Shedz Cymru which provides places where place where young people can learn new skills and be mentored by positive role models and which received £2,080.

North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones, who jointly presented the awards with new Assistant Chief Constable Sacha Hatchett, said: “I am delighted that my Your Community Your Choice fund continues to support community projects across north Wales for a seventh consecutive year.

“This unique fund allows our communities to decide which projects should get financial support through our on-line voting system and the response has seen almost 15,000 members of the public vote for a total of 30 projects.

“These projects help to support my Police and Crime Plan whose purpose is to ensure that North Wales Police is paying specific attention to those points which have been identified as crucial by the public, me and indeed by the force itself."