Support services in Cheshire are being invited to bid for funding to support victims and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence and vulnerable children and their families through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire (PCC) David Keane is launching the fund in Cheshire as part of a package of £76 million funding allocated by the Ministry of Justice nationally.
The funding will be ring-fenced for COVID-19 related emergency funding, and then ring-fenced again for spend on each of the three areas of need listed below. Funds allocated for the three different types of services cannot be moved between pots. These funds will be distributed by PCCs as follows:
- Domestic abuse services that are already commissioned by PCCs £10m.
- Sexual violence services that are already commissioned by PCCs and those that are not currently funded by PCCs £5m.
- Domestic abuse services that are not currently commissioned by PCCs £5m
The funding has been put in place to meet the additional costs registered charities or social enterprises have incurred or will incur whilst adapting their services during the pandemic, and to cope with demand increases resulting from it, during this time period.
Any victims' support service which is supporting victims through these traumas can apply for the funding, including those who are already commissioned by the PCC to provide services in Cheshire.
The Commissioner's office is now asking for expressions of interest for organisations who would like to apply for the funding.
Funding can be used to address costs associated with COVID-19 from 24 March 2020 – the first day of lockdown.
PCC David Keane said: "The coronavirus pandemic has put additional demand on some of our most vital victims' services.
"It has also created a situation where many victims have been trapped in their homes with their abusers during lockdown, creating an impossible situation with little means of escape.
"This funding will allow our support services to recoup some of the costs occurred by adapting their services during the pandemic as well as giving them the opportunity to provide additional support to victims over the next few months."
Applicants must be careful not to apply for funding for the same activity via differing funding streams. Any applications will be considered by the PCC and recommendations for funding awards made to the Ministry of Justice based on what is determined to be the most critical areas of need for vulnerable victims during this period.
Guidance and FAQ documents provide further details and can be accessed online https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-funding-for-domestic-abuse-and-sexual-violence-support-services . The guidance document sets out the processes to be followed to access the funding across your local area and outlined that a needs assessment will have to be undertaken by the PCC to satisfy the MOJ around costs incurred or anticipated.
The application form can be found on the Commissioner's website.
Applications and queries must be submitted to PCC@cheshire.pnn.police.uk FAO Andrew Southcott, Head of Commissioning. Applications for assessment need to be submitted promptly prior to the 1 June 2020.