Charities across Merseyside will share an extra £272,000 of emergency funding during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic to support vulnerable victims of abuse and violence.
It is the second round of extraordinary funding secured by Merseyside’s Police Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). It will help services supporting victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence to cope with a surge in demand and the challenges of operating during the second coronavirus lockdown.
The additional grant of £272,500 has now been allocated to Merseyside and follows a previous award of £500,000 which was shared between 24 charities and social enterprises in June.
Of this new emergency funding, more than £210,000 will be allocated to the region’s five local authorities, as well as nine Merseyside-based charities, to further strengthen provision for domestic abuse victims. This includes an award of £43,000 to Liverpool City Council, and £21,000 each to Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral Councils to expand the support provided by their local services.
A further £59,000 will be shared between six organisations delivering support and care for victims of sexual violence, including the PCC’s Victim Care Merseyside partners Catch 22 and Savera UK, as well as social enterprise PSS, Changing Lives, Birkenhead-based charity WEB (Women’s Enterprising Breakthrough) and the Granby Somali Women’s Group.
The money, which must be used by 31st March 2021, will allow the organisations to cope with an increase in demand for their services, recruit more staff and help them to better adapt to remote ways of working.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “This much-needed second round of emergency funding will help 22 fantastic local organisations who will share more than £272,000 and be able to expand the support they can offer to victims of abuse and violence, including those who are seeking help for the very first time.
“Sadly the circumstances created by the coronavirus outbreak mean some people are more vulnerable than usual and there are victims and survivors who are at further risk of harm. Many of these services have experienced a surge in demand for their services.
“This extra funding will help to strengthen these charities and social enterprises to ensure they can continue to deliver their essential services despite the extraordinary challenges they face, to cope with any surge in demand and ensure vulnerable victims are not left to suffer alone.
“While this funding will assist during these unprecedented times and over the winter months, I’m very conscious that help will be needed long after this funding ends and I will do whatever I can to secure further support to meet the needs of victims beyond March 2021.”
The funding is part of £11m announced this week by the MoJ to support victims during the winter. The PCC also secured £200,000 to expand a scheme that works with perpetrators of domestic abuse to change their behaviour and protect families which are at risk.