Support services for vulnerable victims of crime are among the first recipients of a £250,000 funding windfall to help prevent crime across Leicestershire.
Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach today (Thursday 31st August) awarded funding grants to three successful organisations whose work will help him to protect survivors of hate crime, domestic abuse and sexual violence and encourage others to come forward and seek help from police.
The ceremony took place at Leicestershire Constabulary’s Force HQ at St Johns, Enderby,
The grants are the first to be awarded as part of the PCC’s new Prevention Fund which is designed to help voluntary and third sector groups support the public safety goals in his Police and Crime Plan and confront pressing community issues.
Willy Bach said:
“I’m delighted to present the first of my Crime Prevention awards to further the excellent work taking place to support and protect those at risk of becoming a victim of crime across Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland.
“One of the key priorities of my Police and Crime Plan is to protect the most vulnerable members of our society including those affected by mental illness, hate crime and domestic violence. Suffering in silence only prolongs the emotional or physical harm suffered by these individuals and I want to do everything I can to encourage people to report their experiences and seek help sooner for their immediate safety and long-term psychological recovery.
“I would like to congratulate these successful organisations for their innovative approach to victim recovery and look forward to seeing the positive results of this investment. For any organisation which is interested in applying funding, it’s not too late. Further awards will be on the way.”
Prior to the ceremony, in a statement Willy Bach told the EYE:
“The first round of my Prevention Fund has been extremely competitive and the decision-making process has been difficult.
“However, there is more funding available for those organisations which can make a real difference to people’s lives and have a positive and long-term impact on public safety.”
Among those celebrating in the first round of the grants scheme was Leicester Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Centre which received £9,945 for its LGBT and Hate Crime Ambassador project.
The initiative will address the issue of under-reporting of LGBT and hate incidents through the recruitment of volunteer ambassadors.
Willy Bach pointed out that with the fabulous Leicester Pride Festival taking place at the weekend, it was a double cause for celebration for the Centre.
Andrew Bolland, strategic development and partnerships manager for the centre, said:
“Leicester LGBT Centre are delighted to have received support from the PCC’s Crime Prevention Fund to enable us to undertake a project to increase awareness of Hate Crime towards LGBT communities and develop a network of Anti-Hate Crime Ambassadors who will work with members of the community to encourage those affected by hostility to report incidents and access practical and emotional support.
“Through the funding we will be able to strengthen our existing multi-partnerships with agencies including Leicestershire Police.”
The Commissioner also presented The Community Hub in Leicester City with £9,809.28 for 2017-18 and £9,956.42 for 2018-19 for The Centre Project which supports people at risk of becoming either a victim or perpetrator of crime, particularly adults who are socially isolated and suffer mental ill health.
Eric Waweru of The Centre Project said:
“The funding will enable the charity to expand its provision by engaging a Community Engagement Worker who will better support individuals to access specialist services and support, as well as facilitating opportunities for increasing the level of client engagement in the community among other things. Everyone at The Centre Project is sincerely grateful for this funding”.
Lastly, the PCC presented £9,929 to the Shama Women’s Centre for its ESCAPE project which empowers and supports women and girls from the BME community in their recovery from domestic violence, hate crime and mental health issues.
Khudeja Amer-Sharif, coordinator, said:
“Shama Women’s Centre welcomes the fact that Lord Willy Bach has recognised the need to support the centre to deliver the ESCAPE Project through the PCC Grant. The grant will help to raise the awareness and improve reporting of Domestic Abuse, Sexual Violence and Hate Crime that Black Minority Women in Leicester increasingly suffer by providing a range of culturally conducive support packages.”
Small grants are available in 2017-18 for organisations whose projects successfully address the PCC’s crime priority areas which include hate crime, domestic violence and abuse, Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), drug and alcohol-related problems, sexual violence and mental health.
A further £250,000 is available in 2018-19.
The funding is available all year and there is no deadline for applications. However, the PCC has the right at his discretion to close the programme at any point dependant on the continued availability of funding.
Interested parties must first complete an eligibility statement and, if successful, applicants can then move on to complete an application form.
Both the eligibility statement and the application form should be submitted by email to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
The Commissioner will require ongoing performance and financial monitoring to ensure successful projects meet the goals outlined in the application and agreed by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. For more details and to apply, visit www.leics.pcc.police.uk/funding-2017-18.