PCC awards £40,000 to boost Victim Care Merseyside services during pandemic

PCC Jane Kennedy in front of a Victim Care Merseyside banner

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has awarded £40,000 to her Victim Care Merseyside services to help them to support vulnerable victims during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Jane Kennedy has released the funding in order to help eight of the charities she commissions through the Victim Care Merseyside service to continue to cope with a surge in demand for their services during the epidemic.

The additional allocation will also help the charities to cope with the challenges of operating during the ongoing restrictions, including by improving their ability to support victims remotely, enabling them to improve their IT and video conferencing equipment.

More than £15,000 will be allocated to three of the PCC’s anti-hate crime services – Stop Hate UK, the Anthony Walker Foundation and Daisy Inclusive UK – to respond to an increase in referrals during the Covid-19 outbreak, extend their opening hours and run awareness-raising activities.

The funding will enable Savera UK to increase their provision for intensive one-to-one support for people who have suffered or are at risk of harmful practices, including forced marriage, so-called ‘honour’ based abuse and FGM.  While Families Fighting for Justice will be able to use the funding to provide PPE, food packs and travel costs for families who have been bereaved due to a homicide or road collision and are struggling as a result of the pandemic and need extra support.

Jane said: “The Victim Care Merseyside services do an outstanding job every day, providing support and care for some of the most vulnerable victims across Merseyside. During the coronavirus outbreak, they have really had to go above and beyond to adapt to the circumstances and ensure victims can still access the essential support they need and deserve.

“Sadly, all the Victim Care Merseyside services have experienced a surge in demand due to the challenges caused by Covid-19. While I have already been able to support some of our providers through additional grants provided by the Ministry of Justice, unfortunately not all of our services were eligible for extra central government funding.

“That’s why I’ve taken the decision to release this extraordinary funding, arising from holding some vacant posts in my office, thereby ensuring all our services are able to respond to the increase in demand for their essential services, giving victims the best possible opportunity to cope and recover from their ordeal, despite the challenges created by coronavirus.

“I hope this emergency funding will assist our hard-working victim services during these unprecedented times as they do their vital work.”

Victim Care Merseyside is a specialist package of support developed by the Commissioner which is designed to give victims the best possible help to cope and recover from the after effects of crime.

It includes a range of specialist support services providing additional care to the most vulnerable victims.

If you’ve been affected by crime, please visit the Victim Care Merseyside website which offers advice, guidance and a directory of services which offer support.