Grants for those who help victims

Organisations helping victims of crime will get a share of a new one-year fund of over £700,000.

The awards are specifically for victims’ work to Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird.

The fund, which comes from the Ministry of Justice, has been labelled the ‘Commissioner’s Supporting Victims Fund’.

Bids were invited and funding allocated to those organisations best able to strengthen, enhance and improve victims’ services in Northumbria, in particular attempting to fill gaps in current services.

The 25 successful organisations include groups offering to support young people; those with mental health issues and male and female victims of domestic or sexual abuse.

All the successful bids demonstrated how they will use the money to give an enhanced service to victims, helping them to cope with the aftermath of crime and assist in their long-term recovery.

Commissioner Baird said: “I’m delighted to be able to help these groups who in turn will help so many victims of crime.

“These organisations all put forward excellent bids and I know the money allocated to each and every one of them will go such a long way to changing the lives of victims.”

For more visit www.victimsfirstnorthumbria.org.uk

The commissioner added: “We are using the fund to make sure that we can thoroughly help and support every kind of person who may suffer from crime or anti-social behaviour.”

The first port of call for many victims will be Victims First Northumbria (VFN) set up by Commissioner Baird after funding was devolved, for the first time, by the Ministry of Justice to PCCs nationwide for victims’ services.

She added: “VFN will now have an enhanced directory of services who will help victims of crime, in particular if they have special needs of any kind or seek specialist help.

“The VFN Victims Co-ordinator will stay in touch as the victim accesses what they need and will stick with them until they have genuinely recovered from the crime.

“Whatever the need, the VFN co-ordinator will remain the ‘friend’ of the victim and we expect to work closely with all the groups we have funded.

“I look forward to finding out more about each and every project as it develops its work and services and have every confidence every penny will be put to great use.

“The Supporting Victims Fund forms part of a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan to put victims first.”

For more information visit www.victimsfirstnorthumbria.org.uk or contact the service’s dedicated Freephone number 0800 011 3116.