Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa has announced the allocation of more than £330k in grants to help him tackle vulnerability and prevent exploitation.
The second phase of the Commissioner’s Vulnerability Fund will see 27 organisations receiving grants of between £1,001 and £25,000 to prevent crime, bring communities together and protect young people from engaging in risky behaviour that could lead to harm.
The total funding amounts to £336,580 and projects will not start until April 1 2021 at the earliest, except in exceptional circumstances.
At the centre of the PCC’s Vulnerability Fund is a belief many crimes are preventable if the right funding is invested in the right place to help people overcome problems, learn new skills and increase their confidence.
Successful projects tackle the wider social issues that contribute to crime and provide emotional and practical support rather than direct enforcement.
“This is a landmark fund devoted to tackling the issues that cause misery in our communities,” said Mr Dhindsa.
“The potential of this funding far exceeds its monetary value, helping to create safer and stronger communities and opening doors of opportunity to vulnerable people and their families.
“My team and I have been overwhelmed with the quality and volume of applications received. The need for grassroots support and prevention in our communities is vast and I am determined to do whatever is necessary to secure these services for local people.
“The projects we have supported through this funding will make a meaningful difference to people’s lives and remove the barriers of isolation, discrimination, disadvantage and poor health that prevent people from achieving their full potential. There is so much work to do but this investment will enable us to hit the ground running.”
Among the successful applicants is Good News Family Care (Homes) Ltd which has received £21,000 to help fund a seven-seater farm vehicle to support the delivery of its farm-based training and skills development work.
The project supports people within the High Peak area, offering training in horticulture, conservation/land management, equine care/animal husbandry, poultry farming, woodwork and a range of rural crafts AIM certificate courses for people aged 16 and over. The organisation also offers nature/forest school sessions for nursery and primary school pupils and their families.
The charity, which has provided support for 50-60 people since 2001 including victims of abuse, perpetrators of crime and individuals in the grip of addiction, expects an increase in referrals from voluntary /statutory agencies such as probation, GPs, mental health and social care practitioners, Derbyshire County Council day services, private mental health agencies and Job Centre plus due to increased levels of poor mental health.
Hazel Guest, charity manager, said: “Good News Family Care works with individuals and families who are struggling with poor mental health through issues such as loneliness, addictions, domestic abuse and people who have fallen into crime through their underlying difficulties.
“We are so excited to be successful in gaining a grant from the Police Commissioner’s Vulnerability Fund, as it will make a huge difference in enabling vulnerable people to access our farm-based skills developments courses and training projects.
“Getting people to the farm has been greatly limited through lack of suitable transportation, especially during the difficulties of social distancing. The grant will provide a vehicle with the capacity to give access to many more people who will benefit not only from the training, but in joining our community of caring staff and participants where they can build a positive supportive network of new friends for the long term.”
Evergreen Collective received £18,000 for its ‘Not today, she said’ project which aims to improve feelings of safety among Muslim women and increase confidence in their identity.
The project includes an uplifting and empowering campaign to highlight the need for British women to be confident in their own identity and to speak out when they need to, workshops and activities for women based on resilience, confidence and empowerment including self-defence classes and a support network and group for women who have experienced any form of Islamophobia or bias for being a Muslim.
The support group will also signpost women to other organisations which can deliver help.
Misba Khan, founder and managing director of Evergreen Collective, said: “Evergreen is delighted with the financial support being provided by the PCC Vulnerability Fund. We are excited to develop and deliver our programme in helping develop skills as well as improve the physical and mental wellbeing of local women through empowerment, engagement and education.”
Recent Home Office figures show Muslims are 50% more likely to be targeted by perpetrators of hate crime. The workshops will not be exclusively for Muslim women but will cater for the cultural and religious sensitivities of Muslim women in Derby.
The support group will be available for Muslim women and women from the BAME (British, Asian and Minority Ethnic) community who have experienced some sort of hate crime relating to them being a women or their religious or cultural identity.
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Thursday 25th March 2021