Funds being distributed by Police and Crime Commissioner David Munro to help key services support vulnerable people during the Covid-19 pandemic have topped the £300,000 mark.
Grants from the PCC’s Coronavirus Support Fund are now helping 28 organisations in Surrey affected by the impact of the lockdown meet the challenges of increased demand and new ways of working.
The PCC set up the fund in March, making £500,000 available from the office’s operational reserve to assist organisations providing support for those affected by issues such as domestic abuse, homelessness and substance misuse.
Over £80,000 of the funding has been allocated to ensure that increased support is available for those affected by domestic abuse, followed by £66,000 to help provide emergency accommodation and access to services for those affected by homelessness.
PCC David Munro said: “Covid-19 has placed many of the organisations we work with under pressure to reach more individuals and to provide this support using new methods. As the PCC, I am proud to stand alongside our partners across Surrey, to increase resources and ensure the best response can be provided to those in need.”
In June, funds from the PCC’s Office contributed to the rapid establishment of a brand new women’s refuge in partnership with Reigate and Banstead Women’s Aid, Your Sanctuary, Surrey County Council and Community Foundation for Surrey. In the same month, calls to the Your Sanctuary Domestic Abuse helpline in Surrey more than doubled pre-lockdown levels.
Lisa Herrington, OPCC Head of Policy and Commissioning, said: “It is important to us that anyone affected by or worried about crime, or who are at risk of offending, can continue to access the timely and specialist support they need.
“Lockdown has left many more individuals isolated, or afraid to reach out. Funding from our office means that a range of services including helplines, practical support and engagement within the community can continue to make a difference.”
Organisations including Surrey Drug and Alcohol Care and The Forward Trust have used the funds provided to meet the cost of extended service provision and staffing, for the purchase of items needed to allow remote working, and to reach more individuals.
The fund will also help to address a rise in anti-social behaviour (ASB) recorded since lockdown began in the spring, including paying for 60 hours of detached Youth workers to support the work of Surrey Police to engage with the community, and funding for enhanced mediation services to resolve disputes and support those affected by repeat cases of ASB.
Funds have additionally been approved for the Surrey Police Roads Policing Unit, to cover extended hours for officers tackling speeding and anti-social driving on Surrey’s roads. The increased presence of the Unit is important as more people come out of lockdown, and travel longer distances.
For more information about the Coronavirus Support Fund, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org