A new fund for projects which support victims of crime has been launched by Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner.
David Keane announced on Tuesday (31st July) that his ‘Supporting Victims Fund’ will be open for organisations in Cheshire to bid for to sustain the services they provide to help victims cope and recover from their ordeals.
The commissioner is responsible for commissioning local support services for victims of crime through an annual grant from the Ministry of Justice, but this is the first time that he has appealed directly to victim support organisations to apply for a proportion of that fund.
The fund has been set up following the completion of a needs assessment by the PCC’s office, which identified specific areas requiring further investment to ensure the right support is available.
Through the Supporting Victims Fund, a total sum of £160,000 is available for projects that specifically support victims under the age of 18, victims with mental health issues, victims at risk of exploitation or victims of hate crime.
£40,000 is available for each priority area.
This may be allocated to one project in full or shared between multiple projects which support that particular priority.
Mr Keane said: “I am committed to putting victims first and ensuring that our local victim services offer the right type of support to give victims of crime the confidence to seek help when they need it.
“Victims of crime can be of any age, gender, race or sexual orientation and can be vulnerable due to characteristics such as a disability, mental health issues, religion/belief or the type and nature of the crime committed.”
He added: “I want to ensure that along with being able to access free support from Cheshire CARES – my dedicated support service for all victims of crime in Cheshire – that victims with the greatest need have access to support that is tailored to them.
“I hope that my new Supporting Victims Fund will encourage more victims to come forward so they can be supported through the aftermath of their crime and long-term recovery.”
Applications for the Supporting Victims Fund will be accepted from a range of organisations, including voluntary and community organisations, charities, community interest companies, local authorities or any other public sector providers.
All successful applicants will be required to have their project up-and-running by October 2018 and will be supported by the fund for up-to 12 months.
The deadline for applications is 4pm on Friday 31st August 2018.
For further information, or to download an application form, please visit: https://www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk/what-im-doing/services-for-victims/supporting-victims-fund/