A MAJOR cash injection has been announced to boost the fight against gang culture.
Croydon Voluntary Action (CVA) is setting up an online mentors' bank that will enable approved organisations to access a range of trained volunteer mentors more quickly.
The project is being funded thanks to a £35,000 handout from the Mayor of London's Office for Policing and Crime
CVA chief executive Steve Phaure said: "This service helps young people regain self-esteem and confidence, and to gain the skills needed to move onto the next stages in their lives."
Police and council chiefs have hailed the move, part of work to steer ex-young offenders and other youths away from crime.
Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Messinger, from Croydon Police, said: "Many young people have been successfully diverted from gang crime over the past year and mentoring is a key part of this.
"The additional funding will help organisations to do even more to support young people to lead a life away from gangs."
Cabinet member for community safety at Croydon Council, Simon Hoar, added: "The service will also be delivering accredited training to support the mentors themselves, but the main goal is to encourage young people's self-development."