Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire | WYPCC

PCC delivers over £170,000 to support communities affected by COVID-19

Wednesday 3 June, 2020

Over £170,000 is being pumped into our communities throughout West Yorkshire to help with the impact and response to COVID-19.

West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Mark Burns-Williamson is allocating the money to 32 projects and interventions specifically targeting domestic and sexual abuse, child sexual abuse, mental health, fraud and drugs/alcohol services.

The successful applications and grants are part of an extra-ordinary round of his Safer Communities Fund (SCF) which returns money recovered from criminals, under the Proceeds of Crime Act, back to communities who have often suffered from such criminal activity in the first place. 

Some of the funded projects include:

  • Embrace - £5,700.00, across West Yorkshire

Alongside its core services of trauma-focused counselling and emotional support, Embrace can tailor its services to individuals, calling on its range of practical and well-being support to ensure the best opportunity for young people harmed by crime to cope, recover and move on. The referrals they are currently receiving are primarily from parents/carers from a low income background who now are further disadvantaged by the loss of all or the main part of their incomes. Their children are at home in already vulnerable at risk situations, such as witnessing domestic violence, or away from their safe space of school, or unable to attend their regular therapy sessions. The families they support do not have the financial means to seek out an alternative. This grant funding will allow them to provide specialist volunteers who will be equipped to offer emotional support via telephone or online to children harmed by or at risk of being harmed by crime. This support service will also be open to enquiries from parents, carers and family members.

  • Kirklees & Calderdale Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre - £4,740.00, across Calderdale and Kirklees

Kirklees & Calderdale Rape and Sexual abuse Counselling Centre works with people who have experienced Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse. They support females and males aged over 13 years old and support can also be provided to family members and friends of survivors. Services include: ISVAs – (Independent Sexual Violence Advisers), Specialist Sexual and domestic abuse counselling, Emotional support sessions, Helpline and online services e.g. web chat and anonymous text, Pre- trial therapy service, Group Therapy/Programme, Outreach Counselling in varied community settings and Online support and counselling.

  • Airedale Voluntary Drug and Alcohol Agency (Project 6) - £4,995.20, across Bradford

Project 6 is an award winning charity based in Keighley, who have been supporting people for over 35 years. They work within both a harm reduction and a recovery ethos delivering services across the whole community, to people affected by substance use and complex needs, working with over 3,000 people a year. Project 6 deliver services in the following areas: Alcohol and Complex Needs Services, Family Support and Services including Children and Young people and Recovery Support Services. Their Trusted Relationships Programme works with young people in Keighley identified as being at risk of CSE, criminal exploitation and gangs. They provide interventions which develop protective factors that build resilience in the young people they work with and the capacity to avoid risks. This grant will fund capacity to offer additional 1:1 sessions to vulnerable young people over a six month period in order to deal with crisis, assess and manage the immediate needs following the lockdown and to ensure that existing therapeutic resource is not overwhelmed by crisis and practical issues.

  • Calderdale Smartmove - £4,800.00, across Calderdale

Calderdale Smartmove aims to prevent homelessness by providing one-to-one housing support, a bond scheme which enables people on low incomes to access private rented accommodation and informal learning programmes to improve their confidence and self-esteem. As a result of Covid-19 they are providing additional support to clients as most have chronic health issues and are self-isolating. This means providing additional telephone support to mitigate the impact of isolation on mental health, and making more visits to their homes to deliver care packages including gas and electricity top-ups, cleaning and hygiene products and food and medicines. A high number of their client have substance abuse problems, so keeping in regular contact with them is essential to support them not to relapse. They have also taken on new clients referred by domestic abuse agencies, who are fleeing domestic violence, which has been exacerbated by tensions during the lockdown.

  • Locala Community Partnerships CIC - £4,303.00, across Kirklees

The Sexual Health Outreach service work with vulnerable individuals who are at high-risk of poor sexual health and present with complex health and social factors, including women involved in the sex industry and vulnerable pregnant women. The team undertake outreach to venues that are more accessible to these client groups such as saunas and Street Sex Working hot spots, as well as holding one-stop shop clinics in partnership with the drug and alcohol service, housing, DV services and GPs. This project will supply Care Packages to vulnerable women who were engaging with the service prior to Covid lockdown. These women will be known sex workers or involved in the service through SWANS (vulnerable pregnant women with complex factors).

  • Behind Closed Doors (BCD), £5,986.00, across Leeds

BCD supports people whose lives have been damaged by domestic violence and abuse (DVA), so that they are able to build new and positive futures. In 2018-19 they supported 662 women, 105 men and 803 children in their families. They enable them to keep themselves safe, resolve practical problems and recover from the emotional and psychological effects of DVA. This grant will enable their Prevention and Recovery Service workers to provide effective, high-quality support for women, men and children in families affected by DVA throughout the COVID 19 crisis. They will be able to offer telephone and online support from their trained and experienced workers to individual clients for around 3 months. It will also help clients deal with the additional suffering and distress caused by the lockdown including re-traumatisation, anxiety and stress.

  • ECHO Community Programme - £6,000.00, across Wakefield

ECHO (Every Child Has Options) is an early intervention community project delivered from a GP setting aiming to tackle social challenges in their community. The project operates accessible hours including early evenings and works in partnership with the GP who is able to respond to any presenting medical problems. During the COVID-19 period ECHO is providing a one to one timetable for vulnerable children aged 7 -11 years old, as well as mentoring for their families. The timetable offers education surrounding what is appropriate behaviour including antisocial behaviour and bullying. The education provides a strong tool to allow the children to safeguard themselves and those they care about. The offer also enables swift referrals to be made where serious concern is raised.

PCC Mark Burns-Williamson, said: “The impact of COVID-19 has caused untold harm to our communities and I have been working closely with the police and our many partners to try to lessen that impact as far as possible, including moving quickly to make available this extra-ordinary grant round funding, as ever courtesy of great work done by West Yorkshire Police and prosecutors.

“We had a fantastic response, with in the end 32 organisations from across West Yorkshire sharing £174,304.93 in grants, to start work and making a difference as soon as possible.

“I was specifically looking for projects which could deliver under lockdown conditions, including new or additional methods of support for our communities online, over the phone or outreach based. Innovative projects to prevent crime, anti-social behaviour, safeguard vulnerable people and reduce demand on emergency services are also receiving funding.

“We are working quickly to allocate monies out by the end of this month and I look forward to engaging with as many of the projects as possible to learn more about their delivery and the real difference they will make in difficult times.”

Annette Jones, ECHO Manager, said: “We are delighted and would like to say a massive thank you to the Police and Crime Commissioner for the funding we have now received. We are grateful in many ways, mainly that we are now able to confidently assure those who are working with that the support we offer is secure and in place during this very worrying time.

“ECHO has remained open during the Covid19 crisis, offering face-to-face involvement from two venues, Ash Grove Medical Centre and the newly opened Knottingley Community Hub.”

Louise Tyne, Organisation Director at Behind Closed Doors, said: "Thanks to the SCF Covid 19 grant award, our Prevention and Recovery Service will be able to respond to additional demand for support. It will support an extended and flexible approach to service delivery. Therefore, more women, men and children in Leeds will be supported to recover from their experiences of domestic violence and abuse.”

Jaswere Kaur-Bruce, ISVA & Service Development Manager, said: “Thanks to the SCF. This has enabled KCRASAC to purchase equipment for staff to remote work from home effectively and safely. The funding has helped with the transition of online services and continued delivery of our vital services.”

Lynn Lawson, Director of Development and Communications at Project 6, said: "Project 6 are delighted to receive this grant, it will provide crucial additional support to young people who may be in crisis as a result of lockdown.”

For more information about the Safer Communities Fund, please visit https://www.westyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk/safer-communities-fund