Brathay Trust

Police and Youth Encouragement Scheme (PAYES)

PAYES is a youth and community initiative aimed at young people from the Sefton area of Merseyside who are at risk of becoming involved in criminal activity. PAYES targets young people aged 12 or 13 who have not come to the adverse attention of the Police themselves, but are considered to be at risk of doing so. Risk factors include the presence of young offenders amongst their peers, regular truanting from school, and/or sharing a home with a known offender. Young people can be referred to the Scheme by a number of agencies, including Connexions, Family Support Units and Schools. Once their eligibility has been confirmed, they are interviewed at home and invited to sign a contract committing them to good conduct, a proviso of remaining involved in the Scheme.

history Campaign has now closed

It ran from 10:05 AM, 21 December 2008 to 6:26 PM, 17 July 2012

Registered Charity in England and Wales (1021586)

Amount raised





  • Armed Forces/Emergency ServicesArmed Forces/Emergency Services
  • Community Support & DevelopmentCommunity Support & Development
  • Education/Training/EmploymentEducation/Training/Employment


  • Children (3-18)Children (3-18)
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)



PAYES was launched by volunteers from Merseyside Police in 1993, prompted by the tragic murder of two-year-old James Bulger. PAYES takes the form of a three-year personal development programme. Police volunteers organise a variety of educational and leisure activities in Sefton, and if participants demonstrate good behaviour and do not become involved in criminal activity, they will be invited to attend a Level 1 residential programme provided by Brathay Hall Trust (Brathay). This pattern continues throughout the three years, with attendance on the Level 2 and Level 3 courses also being contingent on the young people’s good conduct. The three Levels follow a curriculum development model and are designed to offer increasing levels of challenge and responsibility within a supportive environment. The outcomes of PAYES can be described under three headings, the first of which is crime diversion. The Scheme encourages young people to stay out of trouble in spite of their ‘at risk’ status. They are offered an incentive to behave well during their adolescence, when statistically they are most likely to begin experimenting with crime. PAYES spans these vulnerable years, providing long-term support rather than a ‘quick fix’. Since the Scheme was founded, Sefton has benefited from a steady decrease in the levels of street crime and anti-social behaviour involving young people. The second broad outcome is personal development. Past PAYES participants have reported improvements in confidence and self-esteem, social and team skills, self-awareness and relationship to others, and broadening personal aspirations. The third outcome is community cohesion. Through the Scheme, the young people have frequent contact with the Police volunteers, giving the young people the chance to see the ‘human side’ of Police work. The Police volunteers also learn to relate better to young people’s experiences. The mutual trust which develops has a significant impact on their perceptions of one another within the community, and also has a positive influence on the peer groups of those involved. 108 young people took part in the 2008/09 Scheme. In 2010 we would like to work with a similar number of young people, but this is entirely dependent upon funding. The non-profit cost of 7 Brathay courses (2 at Level 1, 3 at Level 2, and 2 at Level 3) is £54,910. PAYES is a registered charity and the Police volunteers carry out local fundraising, but given the demands of their full-time policing responsibilities Brathay has undertaken to assist them by seeking funding for this highly beneficial programme. As such all funds received by Brathay for this programme are held by Brathay in a restricted fund in the name of PAYES, for expenditure only on the various PAYES courses.