COMMUNITY groups are being urged to come forward and do their bit to cut down on hate crime in Bolton.

Organisations are invited to apply for a share of £15,000 to raise awareness of hate crime and encourage discussion about it.

The money, which is coming from the Bolton Be Safe Partnership, is also aimed at increasing reporting of hate crime in the borough.

Charities and other groups can apply for funding to hold an awareness-raising activity or public event during Greater Manchester Hate Crime Awareness Week in February or to deliver a longer term project which will help people find out more about hate crime.

A showcase was held at Bolton CVS, in Bold Street last week to encourage groups to apply for funding.

It is hoped that the projects will raise awareness of hate crime and also get more people to report incidents.

Darren Knight, chief officer at Bolton CVS, said: "I know it is weird to say but I'm excited to be doing this event on hate crime.

"This is the fifth year we have run this in Bolton.

"In recent years we have seen an increase in hate crime but really positive stuff is happening. We are having a lot more reporting of hate crime."

Sergeant Jonathan Seeds, from GMP's Bolton borough, also supported the scheme.

He said; "In the last eight months we have had 580 hate crimes reported. It is really important that people are reporting.

"Third party reporting is also really important. There are some people who just don't speak."

Previous claimants of funding include Bolton Wanderers Community Trust, Bolton Council of Mosques and Fortalice.

One project was carried out in Breightmet was called 'More in Common' and saw refugees from the Darfur region and residents come together to make a video about their similarities.

Some posters were put on display at the event showing the work of previous projects to hopefully inspire other people to apply.

Despite the problems people face, Cllr Sue Haworth told the event, that Bolton also has things to be positive about when it comes to inclusivity.

She said: "It is great to see a mix of people here today. We are just one of the few council in the UK that has a transgender person as a councillor."

Mark Grundy, from Bolton CVS, explained the scheme to the people at the event.

Applications are open now for between £500 to £2000 for groups to apply for.

Groups have until 4pm on November 27 to apply.

To find out more about the grants, go to or contact Mr Grundy on 01204 546010