The Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey has offered a lifeline for partner organisations facing unprecedented challenges during the coronavirus outbreak.
The PCC’s Coronavirus Support Fund has made £500,000 available to help these organisations provide support some of the most vulnerable residents in Surrey, including for victims at greater risk due to isolation measures.
In less than a week, 15 organisations have been allocated funding of over £50,000 to continue support for those affected by domestic abuse, homelessness and substance misuse.
Remaining funds will be allocated on a rolling basis to existing partners through the Coronavirus Support Fund. Decisions on funding are being made in real time, to ensure support is provided as soon as possible.
PCC David Munro said: “Now, more than ever, it is crucial we help local organisations to navigate the uncertainties of continuing support for the most at need.
“I have seen remarkable steps already being taken to deliver services such as counselling, advice and practical help for vulnerable individuals under exceptional conditions. I want to do everything in my power to help the amazing people making this possible to carry on, to be able to work remotely or with the appropriate protection, and to reach more individuals in need.”
Over £37,000 of the funding allocated since the end of March will allow domestic abuse services to provide additional staff and working hours, to facilitate home working and technical support to ensure the continuation of helpline services.
Other funding will allow homelessness and drug and alcohol services to provide essential personal protective equipment (PPE) to staff and
clients, to source additional staff cover and extend provision for those in need.
Damian Markland, OPCC Head of Policy and Commissioning, said: “The measures being taken to keep us all safe are unfortunately also likely to leave some very vulnerable people isolated and less able to seek help.
“We are particularly concerned about victims of domestic abuse who we know are at increased risk due to current movement restrictions. We are also mindful that this is likely to be an extremely challenging time for those recovering from substance abuse, as well as ex-offenders that have been working hard to rebuild their lives.
“The emergency fund is about helping local organisations adapt to this new and challenging environment, and ensuring that those that need support can still access it.”
£8,000 from the Support Fund will help homeless charity the York Road Project to ensure their day centre is staffed seven days a week. Cath Stamper, Chief Executive of the York Road Project, said: “We now have 24 clients in hotel beds and pods are being built to accommodate more. Without this help, it would be impossible to manage.”
Surrey Drug and Alcohol Care, East and North Surrey Domestic Abuse Services and Your Sanctuary are among other organisations being supported.
For more information about the Coronavirus Support Fund, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org