Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner -  
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Major win for PCC to help fund services supporting victims of Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence

 

 

Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, and her office have secured a further major grant of almost £140,000 for services supporting victims of Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence to deal with an increase in demand during the pandemic.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has announced a package of support of over £17m nationally, with £139,788.35 having been allocated for services Commissioner Holloway is already working with to house and support victims of violence in the home and sexual crime, as a sign of their effectiveness, enabling them to recruit more staff and adapt to remote counselling methods during the pandemic. They will also now be able to keep vital helplines open for longer.

Today’s announcement comes on top of earlier wins by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner totalling more than £200,000 to help charities - and Domestic Abuse organisations in particular - to maintain and deliver increased services during the Covid emergency.

“The organisations specialising in helping victims of Domestic Abuse and Sexual which have already been working with my office and I throughout Bedfordshire really stepped up to the plate and helped us to secure alternative emergency accommodation for those fleeing sexual violence and fear of violence in the one place they should feel safest - their own homes.

“They did this at a time when hotels and rental places were shutting down, remote working was needed for the most part and face to face support has been at its most difficult to provide. We won an initial £46,000 for these organisations and they used it so effectively that they made it easier for us to achieve this major win on their behalf and on behalf of victims of such crimes all over this county.

“I would like to particularly highlight the work of my truly outstanding Chief of Staff, Clare Kelly, who has relentlessly pursued this further grant on my behalf to help keep those of our residents safe, who are arguably at greatest risk. She never gave up and the reward for that has come today. I cannot thank her and my team enough for all they have been doing at a time of an unprecedented emergency, often against all the odds and despite all the difficulties to normal working practises that this pandemic has brought with it. The other person who has played a large part in securing this exceptional level of funding, is our grants commissioning officer Antonina Belcheva, who also works on grants bids which means that my whole office is beyond delighted at today’s news,” said PCC Holloway.

The funding announcement follows an additional boost of £169k which was awarded to the Commissioner back in June to support charities and organisations running essential services for victims of Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence.

The fund is expected to be available to the Commissioner in late November, and will cover the period of 1 November 2020 to 31 March 2021.

The following organisations have been awarded funds via their means-tested applications: -

ACCM (UK)

Living Your Life (Bedfordshire) CIC- DA

Living Your Life (Bedfordshire) CIC- SV

Mindfulness Support Service C.I.C

The Safer Luton Partnership

Stepping Stones (Luton)

TOKKO Youth Space Luton

Azalea

Home-Start Central Bedfordshire

Luton All Women's Centre

Link to Change andFACES

Change Ur Life

The Counselling Foundation

Embrace - Child Victims of Crime

 
After informing organisations of their allocations, many expressed their thanks for the emergency help and explained what it will mean to victims of domestic crime and sexual assault. 

Helen Thomas, Clinical Manager in Luton for The Counselling Foundation, said: “The funding we’ve received will go a long way towards a much needed service and the ongoing demand for support for people experiencing Domestic Abuse. We really appreciate the support of the OPCC and Signpost and looking forward to continuing to work in partnership with them.”

Sian Watson, Clinical Director for Living your life, said: “For this funding to be made available to support victims of Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence is amazing. In the last few months we have seen an increased need for our services across Bedfordshire. We were fearful that without further funds we may have to turn people in need away. We are extremely grateful that PCC Holloway has chosen us to receive these funds so we can ensure those in need receive support.”

Wendie Harvey, Chief Executive Officer for FACES, said: FACES and Link to Change are delighted to have been invited to continue providing the successful Changing FACES project in partnership with the PCC. Changing FACES is a unique wraparound service which provides targeted support families and young people who have been exploited or are vulnerable to exploitation.